E-cig kits sent through the mail raise concerns - WDRB 41 Louisville News

E-cig kits sent through the mail raise concerns

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- From early spring and into the summer, Clark County Tobacco Prevention coordinator Annie Reiss says she received calls from concerned residents who said they received e-cigarettes in the mail.

"I was really surprised and discouraged," Reiss said. "People were letting me know that they had received a packet in the mall and it was an electronic cigarette. Most people were not tobacco users. They were randomly sent out."

The Indiana State Department of Health says it's likely still happening. Officials say the Hoosier State was one of two test markets for MarkTen e-cigarettes. 

Rob Kaiser sells MarkTen at Liquid Palace in New Albany. He says company representatives gave it to him for free, but the product hasn't been flying off the shelves.   

"Zero in three months," Kaiser said when asked how many he had sold. 

Although he and anti-tobacco advocates are at odds over the safety of e-cigs, both agree it could be dangerous to send through the mail.

"I totally disagree with that because there are children out there that get their mail before their parents do," he said. 

Spokesperson David Sylvia with Nu Mark -- part of MarkTen's parent company Altria -- explained the company only sent out a coupon, battery, and recharging kit, but not the cartridge needed to make it all work. He said the addresses came from the company's adult tobacco consumer database, made up of people 21 and older who signed up for direct mail from the company.

If someone does not want to be on the list, Sylvia suggests contacting the company. 

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