Vape Mail Ban
If you’re a vape user, you’ve likely seen recent news surrounding the upcoming “vape mail ban” in the United States. The omnibus spending bill that then-President Trump signed into law on December 27, 2020, to fund the U.S. government contained language seemingly unrelated to an appropriations bill or COVID-19 relief package. Instead, it restricts online sales of vape products by regulating the shipping of these items through the U.S. Postal Service.
In an effort to reduce the supply of e-cigarettes to children, the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” (page 5136) adds further restrictions to the online distribution of vape products. This 2020 act was an amendment to what is known as the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act of 2009. While the name of the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act implies good intentions, most people are referring to it as a complete “vape mail ban.”
The new vape mail law will have a major impact on your ability to purchase vaping products online. Vape users, vape shops, and all other vape-related parties must understand the regulations in order to avoid stiff penalties. Here, we overview the vape mail ban and how it may impact your access to vaping products.
What is the Vape Mail Ban?
The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act is effectively a ban on mailing vaping products within the United States through the U.S. mail system. While the purpose of this act purports to be to prevent children from becoming hooked on vape products, in practice, the ban will impact all vapers who rely on the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) to receive vaping products.
Once the bill comes into effect in late March of 2021, the USPS will no longer be able to ship vaping products. While the intention of this law is to prevent nicotine access via mail, it will also apply to any vaping product, even those that do not contain nicotine, including:
- synthetic “tobacco-free” nicotine e-cigarettes
- zero-nicotine e-liquids
- CBD, THC, or hemp vape pens
While banning shipments through the U.S. Postal Service is difficult enough for the vaping community, this means that all nicotine and non-nicotine vaping suppliers will also need to conform to the PACT Act. We’ll explore this law in more detail in the section below.
What is the PACT Act?
The Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act is a law that regulates the supply of traditional tobacco products in the United States. The legislation is an amended extension of the federal Jenkins Act of 1949. It outlines delivery regulations, excise taxes, tax stamps, nicotine rules, and a host of other laws related to tobacco shipments and sales.
The PACT Act will now apply to vapor products, which means that vape companies will be subject to the same regulations to which traditional tobacco suppliers adhere. Let’s explore some of the key features that will apply to vaping distributors:
- All those who sell or distribute vaping or smoking products must register with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF)
- Depending on each state and its tax arrangements, suppliers may need to register with state tobacco tax administrators not only in their base locations but also in states to which they are selling
- Suppliers must collect state and local taxes and adhere to tax stamp regulations when selling a product
- Sellers must report transactions, customer names, customer addresses, and sale details (items and quantities) to the state tobacco tax administrator
- Only private shipping companies will be available for shipping vaping products
- Customer age verification will be necessary (commercial databases)
- An adult signature at the point of delivery is mandatory
Stringent penalties will be in effect for not following the regulations outlined in the PACT Act, so it’s essential to read the bill yourself and speak with an attorney to ensure that your business is compliant. Some rule-breakers may face jail sentences of up to three years.
When Will This Go Into Effect?
For those concerned about the start of the ban, the law will go into place 90 days after the signing of the act, which is around March 27, 2021. The USPS has 120 days from the signing of the bill to create regulations that prevent the shipment of vaping items. Exactly how these regulations will develop will be clearer when the requirements come into place, but it’s clear that the USPS is taking the ban very seriously.
What Does This Mean for Residential Consumers?
For residential consumers, this means that vape shipments will be next-to-impossible to receive domestically. While private shippers will not be subject to all the new legal requirements that the USPS is subject to, companies like FedEx and UPS have experienced pressure from anti-smoking advocates and have decided to halt their vaping delivery services as well.
What Does This Mean for Distributors?
For distributors, such as vape shops and online stores that sell vape products, this new legislation will have a profound impact. In an effort to tax vaping products and regulate the industry, the U.S. government and state tobacco tax administrators will make it much more difficult to operate a vape shop.
For online retailers, this will require compliance with shipping, ID regulations, and other regulations. The writers of these bills appear extremely serious about penalties. As a warning to suppliers, penalties for breaking the ban can include jail sentences.
Brick-and-mortar businesses will need to adapt to ensure that their supply chain is not impacted by the PACT Act or the USPS ban. Suppliers will no longer be able to use the USPS. Planning ahead to prevent shortages will be essential.
Where Can I Stock Up on Vape Products Now?
With nicotine delivery systems drying up around the country, you’re likely wondering how you can stock up on your favorite vaping items. While home delivery will be available in some circumstances before the law goes into effect, you will not be able to rely on traditional USPS shipping services in the future.
Unfortunately, this is also a warning to individuals who enjoy vaping cannabis products. The same challenges will apply. At Delta 8 Pro, we’ve been working diligently to ensure that we will be able to continue to provide our products to consumers and vape suppliers.
If you’re concerned that the bill will result in your local vape shop losing your favorite nicotine or cannabis vape product, make sure to head into the store to ask the proprietors about their plans for the upcoming change in the law. Let them know that Delta 8 Pro is developing unique capabilities to ensure that supply chains will remain uninterrupted.