ARLINGTON, Va. -- Electronic cigarettes are increasing in popularity. States are adding e-cigarettes to the list of restricted products that should not be sold to minors.
Today, 11 states consider e-cigarettes as an age-restricted product. "In short order, 11 states could change to 12, 15 or even 50 states," said Doug Anderson, president of We Card Program Inc., in an article posted on the company's website.
"If you operate a store in any one of these 11 states, get the word out to your store managers and frontline sales associates to alert them to sell them responsibly by asking for ID of customers under the age of 27 (that age threshold is our recommendation)," he said. "If your store policy is 'under 30' or another age, you should re-enforce it with your employees [and by] denying e-cigarette sales to minors (with a 'minor' defined as the minimum-age of 18 years old in most states and 19 years old in Alabama, Alaska, Utah, New Jersey and some New York counties.)."
Today, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate e-cigarettes as long as makers do not make a therapeutic claim, said We Card, but the FDA has indicated its intention to regulate them in the future.
We Card said it will let its clients know "when/if" the FDA issues new regulations or information on e-cigarettes.
The Arlington, Va.-based company recommends that its clients raise awareness of the importance of responsibly retailing e-cigarettes while complying with the state laws that require denial e-cigarette sales to minors. It said retailers should double-check their company or store policy to make sure it covers responsibly retailing e-cigarettes, update it if necessary and distribute a copy to employees.
The We Card Program is a national nonprofit organization representing the nation's leading retailers. Hundreds of individual retail establishments as well as retail chains, state trade associations, government officials, community groups and others, also support We Card's ongoing efforts to educate and train retailers on preventing underage tobacco sales. Its mission is to provide retailers with training and educational tools to help them in their efforts to prevent underage sales of tobacco and age-restricted products.