Vape Chip Aims to End Teenage Vaping but Raises Privacy Concerns


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Vape Chip Wants To Prevent Teenage Vaping, But At What Cost?

With underage vaping becoming a concerning issue, there are now talks of adding tracking chips to every vape in order to make them visible and traceable by law enforcement, to some.

The creator of the Trace/Verify software, Dave Morris, who was once an e-liquid maker, sees himself as a proactive guardian of vaping. The aim of the software is to ensure vapes do not get into the hands of underage users, with the ultimate goal of preventing further legislation that could restrict adult vapers.

How It Works

Trace/Verify utilizes an RFID chip to be installed in devices, e-liquid bottles, or any related vaping item. During the purchase of an item, the adult buyer must present a state-issued ID and get it scanned, which will be stored onto the said chip. If the item is found to be in possession of an underage user, authorities can scan the chip to find the person who made the purchase or the vendor.

Nipping It in the Bud

The software aims to eliminate straw purchases, where an adult buys a large number of vapes and resells them to underage buyers. The source of young vapers’ inventory is mainly adult buyers or people they know. Adult influence plays a key role in why young individuals are curious to try e-cigarettes.

Good Intentions?

The Trace/Verify software is intended to be a means to an end that would protect adult vapers and the industry from undue regulation. Dave Morris states that the industry’s indifference to the underaged vaping issue is self-sabotage, adding that Trace/Verify is his response. He aims to prevent a new epidemic of nicotine addicts, and ultimately prevent people from going back to cigarettes or the black market.

Trace/Verify or Follow/Spy?

Morris created the software with privacy concerns in mind. Yet, the information that the chip collects is not sensitive. The only data collected is the buyer’s name and state, which would be useful only to authorities who want to find the person who made the purchase. Law enforcement could run this information through a DMV database to find the person’s address or place of employment.

Will Vape Companies and Customers Sign-On?

The response from the vape industry and vapers ranges from positive to tepid. Currently, only one company has adopted Morris’ software and implemented the RFID chip on their products. It is unclear whether other vape manufacturers will follow suit.

While the proposal was made with good intentions, it raises concerns about privacy. Furthermore, regular ID checks and fines for violators can efficiently combat underage vaping without the need for tracking chips on vapes.

What are your thoughts about installing chips in vapes to tackle underage vaping? Do you believe it is a good idea or an overreaction? Share your thoughts with us.

Written by Christina Matthews

Christina Matthews is a journalist who enjoys providing facts about everything she writes about. She aims to make e-cigarettes less scary to people by providing informative articles and extensive research not only on the potential problems of cigarettes and Big Tobacco but also on the objective side of e-cigs.

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