Breaking News
More () »

Here's How Underage Teens Are Getting Vapes

2 Wants To Know found some triad stores failing to check IDs over and over again.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Going into high school, High Point’s Luka Kinard wanted to puff up his image, so he thought he’d try vaping. It wasn’t long before he was hooked.

“Every day all day. 24/7," he said. "Whenever I was awake, I was doing it. My focus was just getting that fix. I threw away family, friends, athletics, church."

You have to be 18 to buy vapes in North Carolina. Luka wasn't old enough, so he says he would have his older friends buy vapes for him.

“I would afford it by selling my clothes and my shoes," he said. "And surprisingly I used to have baseball cards and Pokémon cards. And I used to sell that too.”

Credit: WFMY

But some kids found another option. Buying right from the store. Government records shows that across the Triad, FDA inspectors caught stores selling vapes to minors 199 times over three years.

And a handful of places in Greensboro are repeat offenders. Great Stops on East Market Street, Family Fare on West Market Street and Food Lion on South Holden Road each were caught not checking IDs four times.

Credit: WFMY
FDA records show 199 times where Triad stores failed to check id before selling vapes.

2 Wants To Know reached out to all the stores multiple times, including stopping by in person. Only Food Lion has given us a comment writing: “We take age verification for all age-restricted products seriously, and have very strict policies in place to ensure accurate ID checks at all of our stores. As a result of these violations, this store instituted additional age verification procedures and further associate training and has had no violations in the last year.”

Credit: WFMY

Israel Morrow with North Carolina’s Alcohol Law Enforcement division also oversees tobacco sales in our state. He says stores are selling to minors way more than you’d like to think.

“Very regularly," he said.

RELATED: Juul halts US sales of popular mint-flavored e-cigarettes

RELATED: We Had Vaping Products Tested in a Lab. Here's What We Found.

RELATED: Parents, Doctors, & Health Experts Address Teen Vaping Concerns Across the Triad

So his agency goes around to find out why this happens. Most of the time, it’s because the lines are too long and the cashier feels rushed. But even if they can fix that problem, Morrow says there’s something else parents need to worry about.

“It could also be purchased online," he said.

2 Wants To Know has exposed before how kids just have to lie about their age through an online form and the vape juice is mailed right to them.

That's why all parents should sign up for this free service through the post office where you can see pictures of what packages are being delivered to your house. That way you’ll see if the kids are sneaking in the products while you’re still at work.

Before You Leave, Check This Out