U.s. minors easily buy e-cigarettes online: study — the globe and mail

It is likely easier for many teens to buy e cigarettes online than in a corner store, where they might be faced with a request for ID, Williams said.

The situation is likely similar in other states, she added.

While 41 states ban e cigarette sales to minors, they tend to focus on face to face sales, imposing fewer or no restrictions for online sales, said Camille Gourdet, a health policy researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago who was not involved in the study.

North Carolina is one of the few states that address remote sales, she said, and vendors shipping to minors there could be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor.

For the study, published online in JAMA Pediatrics, researchers supervised 11 teens ages 14 to 17 as they attempted to buy e cigarettes online 98 times. They succeeded 75 times 18 failures had to do with broken websites or payment processing.

Only five failures resulted from age verification measures such as requesting a social security number and date of birth, meaning 94 per cent of the vendors failed to vet ages properly.

Other sites had some form of age verification, though they were ineffective, such as check boxes. None required drivers license numbers at the time of purchase.

Without strictly enforced federal regulations, online e cigarette vendors have little motivation to decrease profits by spending the time and money it takes to properly verify customers age and reject underage buyers, Williams said via e mail.

The packages were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service, United Parcel Service Inc., DHL Worldwide Express, or FedEx Corp, which do not ship traditional cigarettes to consumers under their own policies or federal regulation. None attempted to verify consumer age, and almost all left the packages at the door.

No federal law restricts e cigarette shipping.

The complete guide to buying e-cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes, also known as e cigarettes or e cigs, are battery powered personal inhalators that convert liquid solution into a mist, simulating the act of smoking. The liquid solution used contains nicotine, but none of the harmful tar or chemicals found in traditional tobacco, making them a healthier alternative for those looking to quit smoking cigarettes.

E cigarettes are relatively new to the market, and there are a range of options to consider when purchasing one for the first time. It is possible to buy disposable e cigarettes, designed for single use, but rechargeable models are also available, as well as the option to buy components and build a customised model. Shopping online on websites such as eBay is the best way to find a wide range of e cigarettes and accessories to choose from.

How do E Cigarettes Work?

There are three main components to the e cigarette

  • Atomiser this is the part which heats up to create the vapour
  • Mouthpiece/cartridge this is where the e liquid is stored. These can either be refilled or replaced depending on the type of e cigarette purchased
  • Battery it is possible to choose a manual or automatic battery

When the user inhales, this activates the atomiser, which heats up the e liquid converting it into vapour which can then be smoked . Smoking an e cigarette is sometimes referred to as vaping . The e cigarette cartridge will last a different amount of time for each user, depending on how heavy a smoker they are. Those smoking more than 20 cigarettes a day may find it more affordable to buy refillable cartridges and bottles of e liquid to fill the cigarette themselves, and these can be found on eBay.

The Benefits of E Cigarettes

Choosing to smoke an e cigarette has numerous benefits, and some of these are listed below

  • No smoky smell, smoke or ash
  • No tar, toxins or tobacco
  • No risk of passive smoking
  • E cigarettes can be smoked anywhere, even indoors.
  • Save money compared to buying traditional cigarettes.
  • Wide variety of e liquid flavours
  • Nicotine intake can be managed and gradually reduced, so e cigarettes can be used as an aid to quit smoking.
  • No risk of staining or damaging teeth

There are many benefits to choosing an e cigarette over traditional smoking, and by investing in an e cigarette starter kit, smokers will be able to see if the product is right for them before buying cartridgesand accessories.

Types of E Cigarette Available

There are several different types of e cigarette available. Disposable models are ideal for those looking to alternate smoking with e cigarettes for health reasons, or those looking to cut back. These are used until the cartridge is empty and then disposed of and can be found online, on websites such as eBay. Most people investing in an e cigarette opt for a rechargeable model. These can resemble real cigarettes or be aluminium a range of colours, styles and designs is available so it is possible to customise the e cigarette to suit the individual.

Rechargeable models come with a battery which can either be automatic or manual. A manual battery requires the smoker to press a button before inhaling, whereas an automatic battery heats the e liquid as soon as the user inhales, with no need for buttons. The type of battery chosen depends on the individual preferences of the smoker, and one is not necessarily better than the other.

The final option when purchasing an e cigarette is whether to opt for one with refillable cartridges, or one which takes pre filled cartomisers. Refillable cartridges require the purchase of bottles of e liquid, which is available in a variety of flavours and nicotine strengths to suit the smoker. Cartomisers are cartridges which have a disposable atomiser attached and are pre filled with e liquid, so they are ready to insert into the e cigarette and begin smoking. It is possible to find a range of cartomiser flavours online, on websites such as eBay.

Refillable Cartridges for E Cigarettes

It is possible to custom build an e cigarette by choosing a battery, body and cartridge type by opting for refillable cartridges, the user can purchase bottles of e liquid to fill their own cartridges at home. This often works out to be a far more affordable choice for heavy smokers than buying packs of cartomisers, and e liquid can be found online, on websites such as eBay, in a wide range of flavours and nicotine strengths.

Whether to opt for a refillable cartridge or not is a personal choice, but many users find a particular e liquid that they enjoy and which is only available in bottled form. The choice of e liquids is usually far wider when purchasing bottles rather than pre filled cartomisers.

Different Flavours of E Cigarette Cartomiser

Pre filled cartridges for electronic cigarettes are known as cartomisers . These cartridges are already filled with e liquid and are ready to use. It is possible to find a range of different flavours, and some of the most popular ones are

  • Cherry
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Traditional tobacco
  • Mint
  • Apple

The range of flavours available depends on the strength of cartridge desired. Many people begin with traditional tobacco and then have a selection of flavoured cartomisers for different moods. By shopping on websites such as eBay it is possible to find a wide range of flavours at affordable prices.

Different Strengths of E Cigarette Cartridge

It is important to purchase the right strength of e cigarette cartridge to ensure enough nicotine is present. E cigarette cartomisers and bottles of e liquid come in a variety of strengths and it is an individual choice as to which one is best for the user. These can be found on eBay.

Those who are heavy smokers will need to opt for the high strength cartomisers or e liquid, but there are usually medium and light versions available too, for those who are more casual smokers. Because there are different strengths available, it is easy to control nicotine intake, and this can be gradually reduced to aid in quitting smoking.

Automatic or Manual Battery

The jury is out as to whether an automatic or manual battery is best when purchasing an e cigarette, and both types of battery can be found online, on websites such as eBay. Here are some of the good (and bad) points of each type of battery

Type of Battery Good Points Bad Points


This battery activates immediately when the user inhales, heating the e liquid to product vapour quickly.

Batteries may last less time as they are always on as soon as a puff is taken.

Smoking is more real as the cigarette activates as soon as you take a puff.

Sometimes batteries can activate in loud environments or with vibration this could lead to battery drain when out and about.


The user has more control over the puff taken a button has to be pushed to allow the battery to activate the atomiser and heat the e liquid. It is normally possible to control how much vapour is released so this can ensure the battery and e liquid both last longer.

The user has to push a button everytime they want to take a puff this can be difficult to get used to at first.

The battery unit is sealed, which means there is no risk of e liquid leaking into it.

The type of battery chosen is a very personal decision many people find that once they have become used to the manual battery it is a far more reliable option.

Buying E Cigarette Accessories

On eBay, there are many e cigarette accessories to choose from. E cigarettes can be expensive, so buying a case to protect the e cigarette is vital. Hard cases for e cigarettes can be found in a variety of colours and designs to suit the individual, and will protect the e cigarette from vibrations, knocks and bumps.

It is also possible to find replacement and spare batteries, car chargers, USB
chargers and portable chargers for e cigarettes online, and most users invest in at least one spare battery, so that they can charge one whilst using the other in the e cigarette.

How to Buy E Cigarettes on eBay

The easiest way to buy E Cigarettes online is to explore eBay. Just visit eBay and go to the drop down menu of categories which you will find at the left hand side of the page. Select Health and Beautyand this will open up a list of sub categories. Go to Health Care and select Quit Smoking, from here type in the desired product in the search bar at the top of the page, such as E Cigarettes .

It is also possible to find e cigarette accessories, cartridges and chargers under the Collectables and Antiques category just click on the sub category Collectables and then choose Tobacciana/Smoking . Chargers can also be found under the Sound and Vision Category in Multipurpose Batteries & Power .

There are many different brands and types of e cigarette to choose from, and searches can be narrowed using a certain term if looking for something specific. Just type the words related to the search, such as Electronic Cigarette Starter Kit into the main search box. For further tips on how to search eBay, go to the Search Tips page.


E cigarettes are growing in popularity and are a great alternative to smoking real cigarettes. Because they can be used anywhere, even indoors, they are convenient, and the fact that they do not contain tobacco, tar or any of the chemicals found in traditional cigarettes means that they are a healthier alternative.

Many people turn to e cigarettes to quit smoking, gradually reducing their nicotine intake over time, but e cigarettes can also be used as a long term replacement to traditional cigarettes. Their wide range of flavours and strengths, as well as the stylish designs available, has ensured that they are a popular choice with smokers of all ages. eBay has a wide range of e cigarette cartomisers, accessories and chargers to choose from to suit all budgets.