Legislation to reduce online sale of e-cigarettes to minors

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Congress recently passed a bill that will prevent the online sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.

The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act requires retailers to label shipping packages containing tobacco products, comply with all state and local tobacco tax requirements, require an adult with an ID to accept a delivery, and verify all customers’ ages.

One in five U.S. high school students use e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, with 32 percent of underage e-cigarette users purchasing products online, according to the American Journal of Health Promotion.

The bill has the support of numerous organizations.

“E-cigarettes are the most commonly used tobacco product among high school and middle school youth, including Hispanic youth,” the National Alliance for Hispanic Health said. “Online sales are a critical component of reversing e-cigarette use for youth as online and mobile advertising platforms are popular places for e-cigarette advertising, including ads for flavored products appealing to youth, and a majority (63.2 percent) of internet vendors could not effectively verify age or made no attempt at all to verify.”

Other organizations supporting the bill include the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the Children’s Health Fund, and the American Lung Association.

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