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Keep Vape Mail Legal [Concluded]
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Congress passed and President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. On page 2669, the bill included language that will ultimately prohibit the US Postal Service from delivering vapor products to consumers.
The legislation does two things:
- [Effective 90 days after passage, Mar. 27, 2021] Amends the “Jenkins Act” to include vapor products in regulations governing shipments of cigarettes and other tobacco products. The Jenkins Act requires tobacco (and soon vapor) retailers to report interstate sales of cigarettes to the buyers’ state tobacco tax administrator. (Internet Cigarette Sales)
- [Effective 120 days after passage, Apr. 26, 2021] Directs the US Postal Service to promulgate regulations prohibiting shipping vapor products through the mail.
While the amendments to the Jenkins Act will come into effect without any further debate, the regulations from the USPS require notice-and-comment, as part of the rulemaking process. CASAA is following these regulations and will put out an alert when public comment is open.
Language that would prohibit the USPS from delivering vapor products is included in this year’s omnibus budget bill. There is little chance that senators will take the language out on their own, so we need President Trump to weigh in by demanding that the ban on vape mail be removed.
Take Action Now by sending President Trump a message urging him to have the ban on vape mail removed from the budget!
[Note] It is our understanding that the WH comment line may be closed for the holidays.
CASAA has learned that House Democrats are pushing for S.1253 (Vape Mail Ban) to be included in this year’s must-pass budget bill. Now is the time to call and write your representative in congress and urge them to oppose this effort.
August typically means that the US House of Representatives is in recess. But this year, it is likely that lawmakers will need to return to D.C. in order to pass COVID-19 legislation. While it is unlikely that non-COVID related bills will be considered over the break, we are monitoring the House for any surprises.
For those who are curious about up-to-the-minute information on federal legislation, you can follow the announcements and live proceedings of the US House of Representatives here, on your desktop or phone with an app developed by House Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer.
Please continue contacting your lawmakers and urge them to keep vape mail legal!
S. 1253 has already passed the Senate and will now be voted on by the House, maybe as soon as Monday (7/20). If passed, this bill will outlaw vape mail through the US Postal Service and within six months it will be illegal to ship any vapor products via USPS.
S. 1253, which would prohibit shipping vapor products through the USPS (just like the ban on mailing cigarettes) was passed by the Senate on July 2, and the text of the amended bill is finally available on congress .gov.
While a significant amendment was adopted that requires an extensive list of research to be completed, the effect of the bill remains the same: No vapor products will be allowed to be shipped via the USPS. This means increased costs to consumers and new barriers to access for law-abiding adults.
S. 1253, which would prohibit mailing vapor products through the USPS and require signature on delivery (with added cost) may be heading to a vote by the full senate within the hour.
If you think that protecting access to low-risk vapor products for people who can’t get to a vape shop is valuable, then now is the time to surge emails to your senators.
Last week, CASAA members sent more than 3000 messages to congress urging officials to reject a ban on vape mail shipped via the USPS. Despite your response, S. 1253 is getting closer to moving forward by the day.
We need a sustained response to this bill in order to demonstrate to lawmakers that many people rely on getting vapor products by mail and that consumers shouldn’t be paying unnecessary extra costs in order to access safer alternatives to smoking.
In November, CASAA alerted our members to S. 1253, which would prohibit the USPS from shipping vapor products and impose adult signature on delivery requirements for independent carriers like FedEx and UPS. Several months and reams of COVID-19 legislation later, S. 1253 is likely moving back to being fast-tracked through the Senate.
S 1253, which is the Senate version of HR 3842, is being fast-tracked through committee. This bill would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service from accepting packages of vapor products for delivery.
This bill would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service from accepting packages of vapor products for delivery and would add vaping products to the PACT Act (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act).
The PACT Act requires online retailers to collect state/local taxes before shipping orders, register with the federal government, and provide detailed information on a monthly basis to the tax department of each state it ships too – including the names and addresses of each customer.
While this is not an all-out ban on online sales, most small vapor businesses do not have the infrastructure or ability to comply with these rigorous requirements. Penalties for not complying with the PACT Act include up to three years in prison.
For the few who do, it would raise the cost of purchasing vapor products for people who depend on being able to have safer alternatives delivered to their door by requiring signature on delivery.
What happens to online purchases?
Banning USPS from shipping vapor products will force companies to use private carriers like FedEx* and UPS. In addition to these carriers being more expensive than USPS, they also do not deliver mail to all Americans. Private carriers routinely outsource deliveries to rural areas or neighborhoods they deem “dangerous” to USPS in order to cut costs. Removing USPS as an option means that some people will have no way of purchasing vapor products. For everyone else, it means they will pay higher prices and they’ll be forced to break social distancing rules because a signature will be required on delivery. Additionally, private carriers could eventually cave to political pressures and also ban the shipment of vapor products.
*FedEx recently announced it will be eliminating shipping of vapor products beginning in March 2021.
Can’t we just purchase in stores instead?
Not all consumers of vapor products have access to brick and mortar stores due to their health, disabilities, or even their location. And with PMTA enforcement around the corner, the selection of products deemed legal by the government will be so small that many stores won’t be able to survive.
Meanwhile, cigarettes will remain the most visible and widely accessible tobacco product in the history of the world.
Why are they doing this?
The supporters of this bill argue that preventing the shipment of vapor products will prevent teens from getting their hands on it, and reduce youth usage. What they don’t tell you is that less than 6% of youth report buying vapor products online, according to the CDC’s 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Most young people report getting vapor products and other age-restricted products from friends, family, and informal sources–sources that are about to become much more popular after September.
This engagement has expired.
Watch your inbox for updates on the USPS rulemaking.
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