The Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board’s vapor unit is on a cat-and-mouse mission to protect kids from the dangers of vaping.
KIRO 7 rode along with investigators as they sent a 17-year-old into Washington e-cigarette retailers.
The legal age in Washington to buy vaping devices and e-nicotine is 18 years old.
"We receive a lot of complaints and those complaints come from other businesses that are tattling on other businesses and then range to parents calling us and saying my kid buys his vapor products at that store,” said an undercover officer.
Retailers have been under increasing pressure from the Food and Drug Administration to stop sales to teenagers.
The agency has given five e-cigarette companies 60 days to submit plans to keep e-cigarettes out of the hands of teens.
KIRO 7 examined how easy it is for teens to buy vaping products.
“Almost every kid has one. It's like, almost an accessory. It's like carrying your keys on you or something,” said a high school freshman in Seattle.
He started vaping when he was in seventh grade.
"It could change the way their brains develop. Do they want to have control over their brains or do they want nicotine to have control?” said Dr. Susan Collins, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington School of Medicine.
KIRO 7 spoke with retailers after they were caught selling to an undercover teenager. On KIRO 7 at 5:30, we will take you along for the crackdown and investigate whether the punishment is enough to stop vape retailers from selling to kids.
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