Last week, a study conducted by the University of North Carolina found that more than 90 percent of local vendors don’t stick to age-verification rules when it comes to online sales of e-cigarettes. Out of 98 purchase tries by participants aged 11 through 14, 75 were successful — and researchers suggested that the numbers might be comparable in other states.
We won’t deny it: Those results are shocking to everyone both within and without the e-cigarette industry. The failure to keep minors from purchasing any nicotine or tobacco products is one that we can’t — and don’t — take lightly. Even the FDA, with all its resources, still issues hundreds of warning letters each month to retailers caught selling tobacco products to minors. Unfortunately, not every company adopts an ethical approach to marketing its products, and that’s why White Cloud is so insistent on perfecting both external technology and internal practices that keep our products in adult hands only.
First of all, let’s take a look at where we’ve been. Since the very beginning, White Cloud has made it clear that we will not sell or ship our products to minors. We’ve said it outright: If you’re under the age of 18, we simply don’t want your business. It’s even built in to our employee contracts that, if they are caught knowingly selling products to a minor, they will face immediate termination. Furthermore, our flavors are honed in adults-only focus groups and our marketing efforts are careful to exclude language that feels too youthful or enticing. We’ve even developed sophisticated software that verifies our customers’ ages in an authentic manner: In addition to our on-the-ground efforts, we’ve partnered with LexisNexis to use an integrated system that verifies identity information and ensures compliance at every level. Plus, we’ve joined the Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco (CORESTA) to help develop test methods that can be easily implemented and standardized.
We haven’t stopped there however; we have also implemented even more cutting-edge standards that make it next to impossible for teens to use unethical means to obtain our products. On the most basic level, we ensure compliance by directly controlling our distributions routes; with a few tightly monitored exceptions, all our sales come directly through White Cloud, which allows our team to keep any potential issues in check.
At White Cloud, we’re committed to maintaining an ethical business not just for ourselves, but also for the industry at large. And it all starts by personally leading the charge against ineffective practices that could compromise the safety of our children. And we’ve never wavered from any of those commitments.