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December 27, 2020

Trump Signs Budget Bill with Vape Mail Ban Included

Update Dec. 27, 2020

After several tense days, President Trump has signed the omnibus spending bill that funds the government, and also includes the language that will ban U.S. Mail shipments of vaping products, and force online vape sellers into compliance with the requirements of the PACT Act (the bill also included the coronavirus economic relief package).

As described in the article below, the U.S. Postal Service now has 120 days to implement regulations that prohibit mailing vaping products. The PACT Act provisions become law in 90 days.

When Trump announced on Dec. 23 that he might veto the omnibus package, vaping advocates organized to contact the White House, asking the President to request that Congress eliminate the vaping-related language from the bill. The existing CASAA call to action was modified to send an email to Trump.

However, all efforts were for naught, as the President reversed position and signed the bill. His only demand that will likely see action in Congress was to increase the individual coronavirus relief payouts from $600 to $2,000 (which Democrats had already supported).

Dec. 21, 2020
Along with welcome coronavirus economic relief, the 2021 omnibus spending bill that Congress must pass today contains an unwelcome holiday gift for vapers: serious restrictions on vape product shipping that will change the retail vape market for the worse.

The “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” was described by many (including me) as the “vape mail ban.” The law does in fact require the U.S. Postal Service to create its own regulations within 120 days banning U.S. Mail delivery of vaping products—whether they contain nicotine or not. (You can read the exact wording of the bill here on page 5136.)

But the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” does much more than ending vape mail. The new law will force shippers of nicotine and cannabis vaping products to comply with the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act, which imposes stringent rules on online sellers. (The PACT Act is part of the larger federal Jenkins Act.)

Online retailers will be required to:

  • Register with the U.S. Attorney General
  • Verify age of customers using a commercially available database
  • Use private shipping services that collect an adult signature at the point of delivery
  • If selling in states that tax vaping products, sellers must register with the federal government and with the tobacco tax administrators of the states
  • Collect all applicable local and state taxes, and affix any required tax stamps to the products sold
  • Send each taxing state’s tax administrator a list of all transactions with customers in their state, including the names and addresses of each customer sold to, and the quantities and type of each product sold
  • Maintain records for five years of any “delivery interrupted because the carrier or service determines or has reason to believe that the person ordering the delivery is in violation of the [PACT Act]”

Sellers who do not register or don’t comply with the shipping and reporting rules of the PACT Act are subject to severe penalties, including up to three years in prison.

“If the increase in shipping costs wasn’t enough, the bill also imposes huge paperwork burdens on small retailers, and backs it up with threats of imprisonment for even innocent mistakes,” American Vaping Association President Gregory Conley said in a statement. “This is not a law designed to regulate the mail-order sale of vaping products to adults; it’s an attempt to eliminate it.”

The product definitions in the law appear to include e-liquid and devices that contain no nicotine, contain only CBD, or are designed to be used solely with THC oil. “The term ‘electronic nicotine delivery system’…means any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user,” it says.

The PACT Act provisions of the new law will take effect in 90 days. Online vape retailers and manufacturers who ship directly to customers will be studying the law with their lawyers in the coming weeks to determine if they’re able to meet the exacting requirements of shipping products that fall under the PACT Act.

With the USPS off limits for online sellers, private delivery services will immediately be pressured by anti-tobacco (and -vaping) groups to prohibit shipping of vaping products. One service—Fedex—has already announced that it will end all shipping of vaping products early next year.

“As of March 1, 2021, FedEx will begin prohibiting electronic cigarettes, vaping liquids, and other vaping products in the FedEx global network,” a spokesperson for the company told Vaping360 last Friday.

You can read our previous coverage of the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act” here:

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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JP Thompson
JP Thompson
3 months ago

After making them pay millions to validate their products and adhere to their laws Congress pulls the rug from underneath their feet.

Mittens
Mittens
3 months ago

So they’re banning the sale of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol? That seems pretty rediculous condo there are hundred of other uses for them. Does that mean the sale of artificial flavoring is also going to be banned? How is the food industry not going to be devastating for the food and confectionery industry. Unfortunately, this means there’s going to be a HUGE black market industry that’s going to lead to people getting hurt by purchasing DIY eliquid from opportunistic black market dealers who don’t know how to mix. People are also going to go back to smoking cigarettes since… Read more »

Paula Black
Paula Black
3 months ago
Reply to  Mittens

I honestly think the people who run the country have more “interest” in actual tobacco companies, rather than vaping companies. In turn, they want to see the vaping industry fail. It’s horrible considering many companies won’t make it.

Richard
Richard
3 months ago
Reply to  Mittens

This law actually violates the Constitution. They have taken away the peoples right to choose for themselves.

Adam
Adam
2 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Exactly

Jason
Jason
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

There is constitutional protection. Nicotine is not specifically in the constitution, leaving any enforcement action to the states respectively.

Mitty
Mitty
3 months ago

This PACT Act is going to create many thousands of new cigarette smokers and cause many thousands of ex-smokers to return to smoking cigarettes. These bans and tax hikes are only contributing to a HUGE black market vape industry. That’s going to lead to an increase in people getting hurt by vaping DIY eliquid purchased from black market sellers who don’t know what they’re doing. Vape companies are a lot better with quality control than neighborhood drug dealers. Unfortunately, legally purchased vape products are already twice as expensive but are going to be 3X the money with all the taxes… Read more »

Michael Card
Michael Card
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

Wait a minute..i understand eliquids, nicotine n devices but their banning DIY TOO? Vegetable glyserine, Propelene glycol n flavoring are ingerdiants all found in yogurts, cereals tons of bakers use these same food grade fda approved flavorings to bake with? This part doesnt make sense.

michael
michael
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

What good will DIY be if the devices are also banned (box mods, atomizers)? Or are those not banned. But liquid nicotine I assume will be banned. So not sure how DIY survives if you cant get new devices or liquid nic.
I get the feeling China will step in to save us sadly, given I can get illegal knives mailed right to me through aliexpress but not amazon. 🙁

Chuckers
Chuckers
2 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

UPS already has a prohibition is shipping “tobacco products” to a residence/consumer in their service policy. They just have never enforced it. They have had this prohibition for many years now and I guarantee you they will enforce it for the same reasons FedEx is decided to enforce their policy of prohibiting “tobacco products” delivery to residences/consumersm which they ahve also had for many years now, but never enforced. DHL is largely a business-to-business courier. But even if they decide to get into the business-to-consumer delivery market, they, too, will capitulate and prohibit deliveries to consumers/residences. It’ stoo risky for… Read more »

michael
michael
3 months ago
Reply to  Jim McDonald

Thanks for the reply. Agree on items that are not vape specific for diy (flavors, pg, vg). Given people who want to send even drugs through the mail, as stated before, vape products will continue to be mailed, just through alternate “vendors” and channels. Likely higher prices, but time will tell. Hopefully rational heads will prevail and overturn this.

coco
coco
3 months ago

what about oil like delta 8 oil

George Hamrick
George Hamrick
3 months ago

I am a broker that uses an online landing page to show cbd/hemp-related cartridges that are available to wholesalers, retail and distros. I source these items from a manufacturer and who drop ships the items. I never touch them or ship them. I invoice the customer (never the consumer) and send payment to the manufacturer who holds the licenses and ships the product. Under this law, will I have to register if I never sell to the consumer and never ship the product?

Chuckers
Chuckers
2 months ago
Reply to  George Hamrick

If you are in this business without an attorney, you are better off quitting right now. Many of the problems people in your business have suffered thus far, including having to close their businesses, has been due to not have proper legal representation or lacking it altogether. One example of this is the state of Pennsylvania. Back when PA imposed their 40% vapor tax with a 40% inventory/floor tax, many vape shops went out of business immediately because they thought they had to pay 40% tax on every piece of inventory in their store by the end of that year… Read more »

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