ø The Electronic Cigarette Controversy Continues ø Best Electronic Cigarettes ø

    Posted on April 14th, 2011 by Michel Hoe

The Electronic Cigarette industry has come under fire for any [potential] sale of product to minors.  This scrutiny is due to what some say is a “misleading marketing” of candy-flavored electronic cigarettes.  Opponents in the smoke-free concept have concerns in regards to the sale of electronic cigarettes to underage consumers plus the irresponsible marketing towards non-smoking public.

Currently, trusted online retailers are trusted to refuse sales to minors.  However the question remains – simply how much accountability should these businesses have when verifying age of its customers – particularly when the marketing is really overtly underage?

Could electronic cigarettes, that are built to give smokers an alternative solution, actually create new smokers?  Even though many in the business who sell flavors including watermelon, strawberry, along with other fruit flavors hope the appeal produces new customers – current smokers or not – the electronic cigarette retail giant, Green Nicotine, hopes that response is a massive no.

Sean Schoepflin, CEO of Green Nicotine said, “Clearly, these flavors spark the eye of the younger generation, potentially, a younger generation that could have not used traditional tobacco to start with.”  Surprisingly, the only real measures many E-cig companies use to ensure age online, is as simple as just asking.  He procedes say, “Simply by requiring an individual to ensure how old they are via a drop-down menu inside a shopping cart, a retailer is putting the complete onus on the customer – but Green nicotine differs.”

Starting in April, Green Nicotine is going to be implementing a brand new campaign it calls “The 21 and Older Shipment Verification Requirement.”  Continuing to move forward, the web based sale of any products which are categorized as its verification requirement won’t be delivered without a photo ID present from the receiver.  A legitimate ID and signature is needed of the person 21 years old or older.  Green Nicotine is not going to release the package under any circumstances to anyone not meeting these requirements.  The program is exclusive to electronic cigarette industry and definately will require the signature of not only somebody that is 18, but instead 21, before the release of the package.  This campaign may be the first of this category within the electronic cigarette market and is also Schoepflin’s most proactive campaign currently.

Green Nicotine realizes that it is also not a secret how the illegal sale of traditional cigarettes and tobacco products to minors is really a nation-wide epidemic.  Recently, the Attorney’s General in states like Arizona and Ny conducted a number of sting operations targeting retailers who neglect to properly ID traditional tobacco purchases.

Reported by one local story, evidence is mounting how the issue is much less isolated as simply neglecting to ID the purchaser – its neglecting to correctly verify age.  “Nowadays,” states an undercover agent who had been part of the sting, “many tobacco retailers use ID readers.  They slide your license or ID through; it reads the strip over the back and automatically tells the clerk if you are of sufficient age to purchase.”  This process may be the best way retailers could be sure that the consumer is of legal age.  Since the report points out, numerous retailers who have been sited actually requested identification, but nonetheless sold to the customer.

Schoepflin says, “Obviously, this negligent approach by retailers is comparable to what exactly is happening using the online sales of electronic cigarettes.  There is a clear failure for the business when minors are just instructed to perform simple math, to be able to purchase electronic cigarettes.”  The campaign may be the company’s method of re-affirming its persistence for preventing electronic cigarettes offered to minors.

Being an industry leader, Green Nicotine hasn’t ever offered “fruit or candy-flavored” e-cigarettes.  Schoepflin feels, “Something that tastes just like a fresh banana will turn several kids on.”  His company sticks to simply traditional flavors.

He believes serious smokers who will be searching for an alternative solution usually are not searching for a basket of fruit.  He admits that, “Obviously I really could increase sales if I offered fruit flavors, but ultimately I’d defeat the real reason for why the corporation came into existence.  Kids would begin using them, non-smokers could be intrigued…I’d be hurting a lot more than I’d be helping.”

A business which is prepared to sacrifice profit for that greater good?  “Yes,” says Schoepflin.  “I plan to eliminate any chance of a minor to have their hands on Green Nicotine and as a result, I look toward a future where all E-Cigarettes are ethically marketed over the industry.  It’s really a refreshing twist within an otherwise muddied industry.

“These concerns are of great importance, my company intends on setting higher standards within an industry that may be very loosely regulated.”  When you compare Green Nicotine to its competitors, it is easy to realize what makes Schoepflin’s company different.  Its E-cigarettes look better, feel better, and taste better.  However, that was not what sets the business aside from others.  Green Nicotine’s secret ingredient is its clear vision of changing the globe one smoker each time -without creating a new one.

Comment below, we’d love to hear your take on the Electronic Cigarette controversy.

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