and the real baddies are the big retailers, as we've suspected all along. Not surprisingly, the biggest offenders were major gas station franchises BP, Citgo, Exxon, Mobil and Sunoco, which were found to have violation rates between 34-44 percent of all inspected stores. This makes it easy to correlate anywhere that retails eLiquids exclusively with good ID checking compliance rates, because all of these violators don't even sell eLiquids, they only sell non-refillable pod systems like JUUL.
Somewhere near the end of last month, the FDA sent a letter to Walgreens corporate offices, to request a meeting to discuss the company’s plans to combat youth vaping. According to FDA, Walgreens stores sold e-cigarettes to minors about 1,800 times over the past year alone!
On the other hand, vape shops were not even among any of the biggest violators, yet the industry is still constantly being shot at by the FDA. More than 40 companies were sent letters from FDA seeking information on whether their products were compliant with deeming regulations. Which is fair, if there's compliance rules on the books, companies have to follow them. Whether or not those rules are fair is always up for debate.
So who are the biggest offenders and how often were they caught? Here is the list from the press announcement itself:
Violation Rates Between 35-44 Percent of All Inspected Stores
Violation Rates Between 25-34 Percent of All Inspected Stores
Violation Rates Between 15-24 Percent of All Inspected Stores
That's a lot of illegal sales and some pretty egregious violation rates. Even though a vast majority of vape shops were not found to be selling e-cigarettes to minors, the FDA report might not carry enough weight to shift public opinion. This year alone, so far more than 300 bills have been introduced in state legislatures to regulate, tax, and even prohibit sales of vaping products in more than 35 states.
What state lawmakers apparently do not understand is that these unjust taxes, insane regulations, and basic prohibitions excessively threaten the mom-and-pop brick and mortar vape shops (Like us) that are nowhere even near the worst violators, according to FDA. Lawmakers and legislators across the board are pushing forth all kinds of nonsense that will more than likely destroy thousands of small businesses.
Let's just make this crystal clear; FDA data finds that a vast majority of vape shops are not selling to minors. Therefore policymakers should understand most vape shops are not in the business of profiting off sales to minors. In reality vape shops are effective businesses that help smokers quit deadly combustible cigarettes.