Food and Drug Administration regulations require retailers to strictly comply with the law prohibiting the sale of vape products to minors.
State regulations prohibiting individuals 21 years old and below from using vape pens or e-cigarettes have been in effect early this year. These regulations force manufacturers and retailers to ensure that strict measures are taken to comply with the law. Otherwise, they will face a heavy penalty.
E-cigarettes, like tobacco, still contain nicotine which poses health risks. In 2016, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) regulated e-cigarettes as among tobacco products, making a huge impact on the $3.5 billion a year industry. E-cigarettes fall under the Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS) products which are regulated.
The significant rise in the number of minors using e-cigarettes has prompted the government to take action. Back in 2011, 1.5% of high schoolers were using e-cigarettes, but by 2016, that number increased to 16%. With the onset of modern ID verification methods, electronic smoking devices will be more difficult for minors to access.
The brunt of the pressure will fall on manufacturers and retailers.
Currently, FDA regulations do not allow customers to buy electronic smoking devices without a verified photo ID. Violation of the law will mean hefty fines for the retailer and even revocation of the distribution rights.
The verification process will be difficult for store clerks who are still employing the manual process of checking but there are other means to help them.
BIDI® Vapor On Its Strict Age Verification Process
BIDI® Vapor, a company that prides itself with an innovative and eco-conscious product, the BIDI® Stick, demonstrates its rigorous verification process in compliance with FDA regulations whether online or in brick and mortar stores.
To prevent individuals 21 years and below from purchasing e-cigarettes and other products, the BIDI® Stick website has digital toll gates restricting the sale to minors.
On the digital platform, when potential customers access the BIDI® website, an age verification prompt appears. If the person is at least 21 years old, he or she can access the website.
The website then has another layer of gatekeeping function. Before customers can complete a purchase, BIDI® Vapor will require them to provide a government-issued identification card indicating their age and other necessary information. The data given will be checked by AgeChecker.Net to determine whether the customer is eligible to purchase vape products.
If AgeChecker.Net is unable to verify the provided information, the transaction will be put on hold until a customer service representative confirms the authenticity of the identification card. The customer service representative shall ask for supplementary documents from the customer to further check the purchase eligibility.
Moreover, BIDI® Vapor also calls the customer within the day of the transaction to further verify whether the purchase was done by the person indicated in the documents provided.
The verification process continues even after the transaction is completed. Another gatekeeping function occurs during the delivery of the product. Upon accepting the product, an adult aged 21 years or older will be asked to sign and present an identification card before accepting the package.
Also included in the BIDI® website is a Retailer Pledge page which outlines the terms and conditions of purchasing and reselling the BIDI® Stick. The page is intended for wholesalers and direct retailers who are asked to commit to following the age verification process.
Mystery Shopper Program for Authorized Retailers
For physical stores that sell BIDI® Stick, BIDI® Vapor is rolling out a Mystery Shopper Program to monitor if the retailer complies with the guidelines set by the brand. The mystery shopper shall submit a report containing his or her observations of the transactions in the retail store. Violation of the age verification process will result in the revocation of the direct retailers distribution rights.
As an added measure, BIDI® Vapor does not offer free samples to individual customers. It is not also selling its products through vending machines to avoid youth access to BIDI® Sticks.
The solutions of BIDI® Vapor to make the process of verifying a customer’s age are an enormous help to retailers. The process is fast, easy, and reliable and enables direct retailers, who are also stakeholders, to comply with the law. Complying with the law keeps them in business. It is the brand’s genuine commitment to ensuring that minors cannot have access to the BIDI® Stick.