The FDA ruled earlier this year that electronic smoking devices including vape pens and e-cigarettes fall under the category of “tobacco products,” which makes them unavailable to anyone who is under 18. This means vape shops and other retailers now need to verify the ages of customers who want to buy them. The new legislation went into effect August 8, 2016 and will no doubt hugely impact the $3.5 billion a year industry.
The new regulations are in place because the FDA has seen a significant increase in minors who are using electronic smoking devices over the past five years. Back in 2011, 1.5% of high schoolers were using e-cigarettes, but by 2016, that number jumped by 16%. With the new ID verification laws, electronic smoking devices will be harder for minors to access.
Sellers will now have to make sure customer ages are verified before they can purchase an electronic smoking device. When the age restrictions weren’t in place, merchants used to offer free samples to customers and electronic smoking devices were also available in vending machines. The new regulations prevent customers from buying electronic smoking devices without a verified photo ID. Retailers will have to ID customers who look younger than 27 and want to purchase an electronic smoking device.
Verifying IDs can be a difficult process for store clerks, especially if they are doing it by hand. Accuracy in ID verification is critical for retailers under this new regulation because if they fail to verify the ages of customers, they can be hit with huge fines.
Acuant offers a solution for retailers needing a fast, easy and reliable age verification. Whether in the vaping, alcohol, lottery or market, retailers can use Acuant’s ID card authentication solution to accurately verify customer identities and ages in seconds. Acuant’s AssureID solution automatically recognizes IDs from all 50 states, making it easy for retailers to implement across national locations. With immediate image processing and data intake, customers won’t have to wait in long lines while cashiers verify customer IDs. Instead of manually checking IDs, which can lead to inaccuracies, cashiers can use Acuant’s solutions to electronically verify ages with a scanner or mobile device. Acuant’s instant ID verification technology guarantees accuracy and speed, so retailers will be able to remain in compliance and transact with confidence.