About half of tobacco and vape shops in California did not ID teens for purchasing e-cigarettes and other nicotine products used for vaping, an undercover investigation found. Despite a 2016 law that raised the legal age for buying tobacco products to 21 in the state, teens are still buying Juul and other vape products, CNN reported.
A research team from the California Department of Public Health sent 18- to 19-year-old “decoys” into tobacco and vape shops across California without ID to purchase e-cigarettes or e-liquids with nicotine. Chaperones then watched to see if the stores asked for ID and made a sale.
According to researchers, almost half of the shops illegally sold the vape products to the teens. Liquor stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies were significantly more likely to check ID and less likely to make a sale, as reported by CNN.
The report raises questions about whether raising the legal age to purchase tobacco and vape products to 21 is enough to keep them out of the hands of teenagers.
Teen vaping is becoming an epidemic of sorts. A study conducted by the University of Michigan last year and reported on by CNN found about 40% of high school seniors use Juul or similar e-cigarette devices. Raising the legal age won’t work, according to anti-smoking advocates, especially when shops aren’t even checking the IDs of young purchasers.
Other efforts have been taken to curb the use of e-cigarettes in teens. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration moved to limit the sale of certain flavored e-cig products to age-restricted stores only such as vape shops. The agency also conducted a “blitz” on retailers that resulted in 1,300 warning letters and fines related to the sale of Juul and other e-cigarettes to minors.
Despite these efforts, the use of e-cigs by teens and young adults continues to climb. Not only could this be setting up another generation to become nicotine addicts, other health concerns are being brought to light by e-cig users and researchers alike.
Juul and other e-cigarettes have been linked to side effects like lung problems and those related to nicotine use, including irritability, depression, anxiety, sleep disturbances, and cognitive and attention deficits.
Lawsuits are currently being filed against Juul and other e-cigarette makers over allegations of improperly marketing to teens and those related to certain health problems.
If you use e-cigarettes and became addicted or suffered adverse health effects, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The e-cigarette attorneys at Schmidt National Law Group are currently investigating possible litigation over health problems related to Juul and other e-cigarettes. Call 1-800-631-5656 today to see if you qualify for a Juul/e-cigarette lawsuit, or click here for more information.