With the rise of e-cigarettes and other popular vape products being consumed by young people, government entities are scrambling to find a solution to address the problem.
The Food and Drug Administration has weighed in with a number of proposed policy changes and so has the National Association of Convenience Stores.
NACS president Henry Armour wrote in an oped published by the CNBC website that “the FDA’s proposed policy cuts against what is known about young people getting e-cigarettes. The proposal is counter-productive; it will make youth e-cigarette use and addiction worse, not better.”
Armour wrote that one of the FDA proposals revolved around flavored e-cigarettes and that they should only be sold in adult stores or on the Internet.
“The flawed assumption central to FDA’s proposal is that young people primarily get e-cigarettes from convenience stores — where minors are allowed and most e-cigarettes are sold. That may have some superficial appeal. But research shows that’s just not true,” Armour wrote.
NACS senior vice president for government relations Lyle Beckwith told the FDA Reporter about organization’s role in the selling of vaping products to minors.
The NACS put together a chart.
“You will note that only 31 percent report getting from retail, and of that 31 percent only 5.6 percent report getting them from convenience stores,” Beckwith said. “This represents less than 2 percent of minors purchasing at convenience stores. Yet this is where FDA has chosen to focus its attention.
“When you also factor in that there are five to 10 times as many convenience stores in the United States than there are vape shops, you must conclude that convenience stores take their responsibility selling age-restricted products very seriously. Ironically, more minors report getting their vaping products from their parents than from convenience stores.”
Beckwith also said he gave FDA leadership a report detailing policy proposals to help address underage use of e-cigarettes:
— First the NASC hopes to improve retailer training and increase fines for violations of the National Tobacco Act.
— Second, the NASC would make internet sales of e-cigarettes are subject to the same rules as cigarettes.
— Third, the NASC wants to crack down on illicit sales.
— Fourth, the NASC would institute penalties for minors who illegally purchase or possess e-cigarettes.
“Minors should face penalties for attempts to illegally purchase these products and for illegally possessing these products. Having underage individuals know that they could face legal consequences such as a fine or suspension of a driver’s license may make them reconsider before they try to illegally obtain these products,” the report said.