WASHINGTON — Congressional lawmakers have introduced two bills regarding online e-cigarette sales that would require verification of the purchaser’s age at the time of delivery, NACS officials said.
In July, U.S. Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) introduced the Preventing Online Sale of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, which seeks to prevent online sales of e-cigarettes to minors through required verification of the purchaser’s age at the time of delivery. The requirement currently exists for cigarettes and smokeless-tobacco products when they are purchased online, officials with the Alexandria, Va.-based c-store association said.
The House legislation is a companion bill to one introduced by U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) this spring.
“The convenience-store industry strongly supports this commonsense legislation that would close the internet loophole of minors acquiring e-cigarettes,” said Anna Ready, director of government relations for NACS. “According to a study published by the American Journal of Health Promotion, the most common retail source of e-cigarettes to minors is the internet, with more than 32% of minors who bought e-cigarettes at retail reported to have acquired the products online.”
Last fall, NACS shared policy proposals with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) seeking to help curb youth access to e-cigarettes. One of these proposals was for Congress to update current law under the 2009 Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT), which requires online sellers of cigarettes to ensure that the age of the purchaser is verified by the delivery carrier. The PACT Act did not include e-cigarettes because the majority of products were not in existence a decade ago, NACS officials said in a statement.
“NACS commends members of Congress who support legislation in the House and Senate to prevent minors from purchasing e-cigarettes online and from intercepting [possible sales to minors during] an at-home delivery,” Ready said.