In the final days of 2020, the United States Congress was arguing with President Trump about a second COVID relief package. On December 21, Congress released an over 5,500-page document outlining the specifics of their plan which included $600 stimulus checks, additional unemployment benefits, tax extensions, and other government funding.
But this is Washington, DC. And there is always, always a catch.
Buried deep within the pile of political papers is a strange provision which bans the United States Postal Service from delivering vaping products to adult consumers. The provision also places harsher restrictions on private delivery companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL.
Details of the vape mail ban
Located on page 5,136 of The Rules Committee Print 116–68 Text of the House Amendment to the Senate Amendment to HR 133 are new regulations which have immediate negative impacts on public health. They will also have instantaneous financial ramifications for thousands of small businesses nationwide.
The new law named the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act) legally redefines the term “cigarette” to include “electronic nicotine delivery systems.” The new legal definition is so broad that it clearly includes any “component, liquid, part, or accessory is sold separately” from a closed-system or disposable vaping device.
“The term ‘electronic nicotine delivery system’—
“(A) means any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device;
“(i) an e-cigarette;
“(ii) an e-hookah;
“(iii) an e-cigar;
“(iv) a vape pen;
“(v) an advanced refillable personal vaporizer;
“(vi) an electronic pipe; and
“(vii) any component, liquid, part, or accessory of a device described in subparagraph (A), without regard to whether the component, liquid, part, or accessory is sold separately from the device;”
By including all vaping products into the PACT Act, manufacturers, brick-and-mortar retailers, and e-commerce sites will be prohibited from using the USPS to delivery customer orders. Instead, vape deliveries must occur through an alternative method that requires signatory acceptance by someone verifiably over the age of 21 years old.
Furthermore, all mail-order vendors will be required within 90-days of the PACT Act’s implementation to start filing mountains of paperwork and monthly reports with federal, state, and local authorities. This documentation will also disclose the personal customer identities, addresses, and specific products purchased of all consumer orders, which brings up issues of Rights to Privacy, among other things.
Online retailers must also:
- Register with the U.S. Attorney General.
- Register with federal and state authorities in charge of tobacco tax administration – because electronic cigarettes are now being taxed at the same rates as combustible tobacco cigarettes.
- Add government-issued tax stamps to all vaping products sold.
- Collect all related state and federal taxes.
- Report a complete list of all transactions to the tax administrator OF EACH STATE where the vendor has sold a product.
- Each reported transaction must include the customers’ name, their addresses, and the products they purchased.
- Verify the customer age of each transaction using a commercially available database.
- Use a shipping service that collects an adult signature on delivery.
- Maintain any record of possible PACT Act violations for a minimum of 5-years.
Vaping enthusiasts stand strong!
The new vape mail ban is just the latest attempt of the U.S. government to eviscerate the American vaping industry and drive its consumers back into the loving arms of Big Tobacco. And of course, the new anti-vaping regulations were signed into law during the holidays when no one was looking. The government did the same thing in 2019 when it banned all flavored vape pods like JUUL and VUSE.
But vapers are standing strong, and vaping retailers and e-commerce sites are standing with them. Instead of ordering only a couple of bottles of vape juice at a time, many vapers are now placing larger orders that also include coils and other vaping gear needed for a full month or longer. By doing so, the substantially cut down on the cumulative shipping fees.
Every problem has a solution. Just plan a head. And never, EVER go back to smoking. That’s what the Feds want!