Shop Owner: ‘Vaping Epidemic’ Spurred by Online Sales

WILKES-BARRE TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- With the growing popularity of vaping across the country, we wanted to check in with local vape shops to see what they say about the drastic increase in teenaged users.

The owner of Vape Dragons made it very clear to us that he does not sell his products to anyone under the age of 18. He says that if kids are getting their hands on vape products, they're buying them online.

A new study says the number of teenagers using vape products has doubled in the last year.

Vaping is a way of inhaling nicotine through an electronic cigarette or other device.

ABC News says that vaping has become more popular among teens than cigarettes and other drugs.

Newswatch 16 stopped by Vape Dragons in Wilkes-Barre Township to ask the owner why he thought that was.

"I attribute that to the easy access of online. You cannot buy cigarettes online, so you saw a dampening of kids being able to buy cigarettes because they actually had to go into stores and get carded," Charles McAvoy said.

McAvoy is one of the partners of Vape Dragons which has five locations in our area and in New York State. He says his stores have a strict policy to card customers.

"If you come into our store, first thing that happens is that you get carded right off the bat and if you're under 18."

He says if you're not old enough to by the products, you're not even allowed in his store, but McAvoy adds it's very easy for teenagers to buy vapes online.

"They can just pull their phone right out, hit where to buy a vape, click on the first place that they have, and answer are you 18 or not, hit yes, they have no proof of ID and they just place an order and it gets shipped right to their house," McAvoy explained.

McAvoy says a good way to prevent teens from buying vape products is to place heavier regulations on online sales.

If you're caught selling these products to underage kids in Pennsylvania, you could face thousands of dollars in fines.

1 Comment

  • lickerblisters

    Why is everything nowadays considered a epidemic? I enjoy fishing on a regular basis. Am I suffering from the trout/bass harvesting epidemic that’s been consuming this country for the last several hundred years?

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