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Online Sellers: Beware Vaping Crackdown

The FDA is cracking down on those who sell vaping-related products to minors, including online sellers. It began enforcing new federal regulations that make it illegal nationwide to sell e-cigarettes, cigars, hookah tobacco, and other newly regulated tobacco products to anyone under age 18 in person and online.

The agency sent first-warning letters to 55 tobacco retailers. The Wall Street Journalsaid the FDA had not moved to ban online sales, as many had expected, “but the letters show the agency is closely monitoring those outlets for underage sales.”

Compliance checks showed minors were able to purchase such products in a variety of youth-appealing flavors, including bubble gum, cotton candy, and gummy bear at major national retail chains, tobacco specialty stores and online retailers.

A check of eBay revealed found some e-cigarette related products for sale in collectible categories, including liquids that were listed under Tobacciana.

The American Vaping Association said the FDA has provided no compliance guidelines to online retailers, making it difficult for them to identify an age-verification platform that would satisfy the FDA, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Bottom line for sellers – beware the crackdown and fig

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.