Using a hidden camera, reporters of the ABC15 Channel visited several malls in Phoenix and other Arizona cities, and found many of them are selling the electronic smoking devices, known as electronic cigarettes to adolescents.
Well, it should be mentioned that electronic cigarettes are legal products. However, it is very controversial whether the devices are not harmful for human consumption.
Adnan Guzun owns four e-cig kiosks throughout Phoenix, and states that the devices are a huge help for those who are eager to give smoking ordinary tobacco.
He said that e-cigs work the same as other nicotine replacement therapies, such as gums, but the makers of these devises have made them looking like cigarettes and even emitting a vapor, so that a user thinks he is smoking, tricking his habit.
Electronic cigarettes indeed look like ordinary cigarettes and deliver a mist similar to tobacco smoke, but as alleged containing only water vapor.
The smoking gadgets even offer a large variety of flavors. In addition e-cigs contain nicotine, what should make them comply with the Food and Drug Administration regulations.
This summer the FDA reported about hazardous chemical substances found in several samples of e-cigarettes, including diethylene glycol, a cancer-causing toxic substance. So, it is not clear to many parents, why these devises are selling everywhere without any restrictions and any teen could buy them. Exactly this question David Gerick sent to the Arizona Public health Department, after talking to his son, aged 16, who came from local mall with his friends.
Mr. Gerrick said his son returned from the mall, excited and told him that they have found a brand-new gadget in one of the kiosks, and it was looking like a cig, but not harmful. However, Matt Salmon, former Congressman from Arizona, famous for his efforts to introduce public smoking ban across the City, said that people and health groups have gone crazy about e-cigs.
Currently, Mr. Salmon is the president of Electronic Cigarette Association, claiming that the retailers of these products face very strict requirements: they do not state that the devices are safer, they do not sell the products to adolescents. And, they do not sell any flavored cartridges.
“We market our products only among long-term smokers willing to get rid of their deadly habit,” said Salmon.
However, ABC15 reporters discovered just the contrary. They have used a hidden camera, and visited a “Smoking Everywhere” kiosk in one of malls located in Phoenix.
They discovered a shocking thing: the salesman not only did state that electronic cigarettes would help to overcome pneumonia, but he sold the device and cartridges to a minor buyer.
The reporters had asked Mr. Gerick to permit his son James, to go to the kiosk and ask to purchase one electronic cigarette and 5 cartridges. The salesman sold him the products. Without asking him for his ID. James is only 16.
The reporters contacted the owner of the kiosk, and he stated it was a dramatic mistake and it would never happen again.
However, two weeks later the same boy came to that kiosk and the same salesman sold him 10 refill cartridges. Once again, he never asked for his ID.
More than a dozen of countries across the world banned or restricted the use and sales of electronic cigarettes, but the U.S federal officials still hesitate. However, many states are in the process of adopting their own measures.