Vaping among underage users has become a major concern in recent years, leading to increased restrictions and even a flavor vape ban. A new solution proposed by Dave Morris, creator of Trace/Verify software formerly involved in the e-liquid industry, is to install tracking chips in all vaping devices and related items. The goal is to prevent underage use and thus avoid further regulation of adult vaping products.
How the Tracking Works
The Trace/Verify system uses RFID chips installed in vaping devices or related items like e-liquid bottles, making them traceable by law enforcement. Adult buyers must present their ID during the purchase process, which is then stored on the chip. If an underage user is found in possession of the item, authorities can scan the chip to find the original purchaser or vendor. But concerns have been raised about the responsibility placed on purchasers, even when they’re unaware the item was taken by a minor.
Nipping It in the Bud
Morris hopes that his system will eliminate straw purchases, curb underage access to vapes via adults, and hold unscrupulous vendors accountable. The goal is to prevent a new generation of nicotine addicts, but there are also self-serving motives at work. If the industry fails to act, Morris believes that governments will step in with further restrictions.
Trace/Verify or Follow/Spy?
The system only tracks the buyer’s name and state, but some privacy advocates worry that this information could be used for more surveillance beyond vaping. Law enforcement officials may not be eager to devote time and resources to tracking down minor vaping offenses. Morris has said that he had privacy concerns while creating the software but confirmed that the information collected is not highly sensitive.
Will Vape Companies and Customers Adopt This System?
The reaction from vaping firms and customers has been mixed. As of now, only a few have adopted Morris’s software with RFID chips. Some adult customers may not be willing to always present identification during the purchase process. There are also concerns about how federal, state, and local governments will respond to the widespread use of tracking chips in vaping items.
While the Trace/Verify system aims to prevent underage vaping, it raises concerns about privacy, risking unintentionally punishing innocent adults, and exacerbating further regulation. Alternatively, having the necessary IDs to purchase vaping-related products remains a practical and easy solution to prevent minors’ access to vaping products. Do you think tracking chips should be a part of vaping products? Share your thoughts and comments below.
Christina Matthews is a freelance writer who focuses on the vape industry, providing informative articles and extensive research to make e-cigarettes less scary to people.