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WTOP: Md. comptroller wants ID scanners where vaping products are sold

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said his office will take “swift action” to implement the recommendations that were included in a state task force report on vaping.

Speaking at the Board of Public Works meeting in Annapolis on Wednesday, Franchot said that while legislators consider bills that would deal with vaping, his office would take regulatory action where possible.

Among the actions Franchot said he will take: requiring retailers that sell tobacco products and vaping devices to have ID scanners.

“Most of the stores now, the kids have to show an ID, but you don’t have to prove that it’s a legitimate ID. That’s only proven if you put it into an ID machine,” he said, referring to the scanners designed to verify IDs when they are presented.

But Franchot wants to make sure that the scanners can be used “without the possibility of a machine override,” so clerks can’t override a scan to complete a sale.

Franchot does not mean to imply that retailers do not want to comply with restrictions on point-of-sale transactions.

“They want to do the right thing,” Franchot said, but making sure that IDs are verified should be a priority and barring overrides could prevent “human error.”

Retailers use ID scanners in a variety of transactions whenever restricted items are sold, such as certain cold medicines, tobacco and alcohol.

In Montgomery County, the Office of Alcohol Beverage Services has used ID scanners in its retail stores for a decade. Clerks get training specific to their use.

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