Recently, weeks after the Alibaba halts of selling vape products to America amid vape related death cases, China Introduced several new methods to curb teen vaping.
As mentioned, the term “purchasing” takes its literal meaning, because, as minors, they can still browse vaping products and add them to their shopping cart, but when they continue to click the bottom “pay”, a warning reads “Minors are not allowed to buy vaping products” will pop up to prevent further payment process.
Unlike other online vape or tobacco shops in most countries around the world, where the age warning often pops up at the very moment when you just open their website. But after you confirm your age just by clicking the “yes” button, thus, even a minor can proceed to the final payment without any hindrance.
In addition to the online preventing method by Taobao.com and JD.com, a new auto e-cigarette sales machine equipped with an age verification system powered by Tencent. When scanning the QR code of the machines, the system will verify the buyer’s age from the database to decide if the buyer is legitimate to proceed.
Why Does China Come up with Such Age Verification System?
Technically, it’s not difficult for China. Since 2012, in regard to combat internet fraud, China’s internet users (including online shoppers) have been required to provide their ID information when registering any online accounts. Via such tremendous user data, e-commerce platforms can read users’ age and implement a restriction on minor purchasing vape products.
Although vape in China is much less popular than in America and Europe, vaping is still gaining popularity, especially among minors. In addition, the general public is more concerned about the safety of the product stirred by periodic and groundless reports claiming the harm of vaping. Such fear has been amplified because of the recent “teen epidemic” which became large scale vape-related death cases in America.
China’s upcoming National e-cigarette standard also played an integral part in the implementation of the age identification system aims for curbing teen vaping: In the previous draft of e-cigarette standards, besides many detailed regulations on the e-cigarettes itself, “prohibit minor use vape products” was clearly mentioned.
Most importantly, Teen smoking or vaping is a worldwide problem, numerous preventing method was introduced but failed, as the vape industry leader, China’s age verification system may be a good example for other countries to follow.