Why age verification is required? What is the Tobacco Control Act?
Due to the new Tobacco Control Act Law passed by the FDA and other state specific legislation that regulates the online sale of flavored tobacco, we are required to verify the age and identity of all of our customers.
The Tobacco Control Act gave the FDA authority to regulate cigarettes, cigarette tobacco, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco. The FDA’s Deeming Regulations, effective August 8, 2016, prohibit the sale of all tobacco products (including e-liquids and vaping accessories) to individuals under the age of 18 years. The regulations state that for every transaction containing "Tobacco Products" the vendor must verify the customer is over 18 years old and must check a photo ID for anyone under the age of 27.
There are additional state specific laws such as the California STAKE Act (Stop Tobacco Access to Kids), which prohibits the sale of all tobacco related products to anyone under the age of 21.
Who processes the age verification? Who is BlueCheck?
Nutobacco.com uses the services of BlueCheck for age verification.
BlueCheck is a Delaware corporation with operations and staff based in Austin, TX. The company provides a suite of API based identity and age verification services. Products include age verification, KYC solutions, photo ID validation and verification, and identity verification.
What is age verification?
Age verification is generally completed automatically without any additional input from the user. If BlueCheck is unable to find a data match automatically, they may ask the user for more information or even perform a manual document review to complete the verification.
Blue Check runs users submitted form data against a suite of proprietary and commercial databases. This is the quickest form of verification and will successfully verify over 85% of users.
If no record is found in any database, the user can upload a picture of a legally accepted photo ID and a separate picture of themselves holding the ID such as the driver’s license or passport to confirm the consumer’s age and identity. The user may also provide the last 4 digits of their Social Security Number that allows for a more accurate and a secure form of identity verification. The last four digits of SSN are not stored in the Blue Check database neither on our website nutobacco.com
In addition to increasing the likelihood of an automated match, the age verification greatly reduces the potential for identity fraud, which benefits both the consumer and merchant.
How is personal consumer data protected?
After automated age verification, BlueCheck immediately deletes the last four digits of the SSN and any remaining personal information is stored on an internal, secure server. Photos used for manual verifications are stored for up to 3 days online by BlueCheck to enable customer support. Afterward, the photos are downloaded and stored by BlueCheck on an offline drive to create a secure, offline record of manual verification for compliance audits.
All data stored by BlueCheck is encrypted and protected by state of the art cyber security systems. Highly sensitive data, such as ID photos, are moved offline 72 hours after the verification is completed and are stored offline in a secure physical location. Additionally BlueCheck does not store any Social Security Information for any reason.