This article by Kevin O was originally published on TVape, and appears here with permission.
On December 21, 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, a spending bill to provide stimulus to the American people during Covid. But it sneakily applied a vape mail ban as well.
Buried within that act were 5 nasty pages which included the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act“
Why are vapes being banned from the mail?
Aimed to curb underage smoking, this act puts in place the same limitations that already exist for cigarettes and other tobacco products and applies them to the online sales of e-cigarettes.
Keeping e-cigarettes and tobacco products out of the hands of the youth is something we all can agree on.
However, the act goes a step further by amending the Jenkins Act, which generally prohibits the mailing of cigarettes to customers through the United States Postal Service (USPS).
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Lumping in Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems otherwise known as “ENDS” in the act. These ENDS now have the same mailing restrictions forced upon them as cigarettes.
Broad Strokes Affects Many Folks
The biggest issue with this act is the wording.
In the act it defines ENDS as any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device.
Pretty broad and general right?
It could pretty much be used to describe any device, from aromatherapy products, to baby vaporizers, or oil vapes and wax devices.
The guidelines also include any component, liquid, part, or accessory of an ENDS, regardless of whether sold separately from the device.
Once again, extremely broad in its scope, so now we’re talking, mouthpieces, balloons, whips, capsules, wax tanks, etc.
Almost anything can be interpreted to fall under an ENDS the way the act is worded.
What to expect when the Vape Mail Ban takes effect?
Originally the bill just included the federally run mail service USPS.
However, soon enough the dominoes began to fall, with FedEx, UPS, and DHL all joining the vape mail ban.
Since April 5, 2021, you are no longer able to purchase any vape-related product online and have it shipped directly to you.
It also means in the future there will be much tighter restrictions going forward like age verification, which many companies already do.
However, this most likely encompasses other non-nicotine products like wax pens, e-rigs, and oil pens.
Multiple lawyers from top-tier vaporizer companies have confirmed that dry herb vaporizers are not be affected.
Does the vape mail ban only effect online retailers?
So the sticky part about the way the act is written is that in order for business-to-business transactions to happen, to get product into brick and mortar’s, a company deemed to provide ENDS must now have a tobacco product license in order to ship directly to a business.
Well almost all dry herb vaporizer manufacturers, as well as wax pen, oil pen, and e-rig manufacturers or their respective wholesalers do not have these licenses.
Nor do they want them and may not qualify for them. Which eliminates them from being able to ship their products at all, even business to business (B2B).
Concentrate vaporizers will be effected by mail ban
One thing we do predict is that concentrate vaporizers and wax pens, like the Utillian 5, are going to get caught up in this mess rather quickly. While oil pens are 100% going to be banned under this regulation.
Unfortunately with the wording in the act being extremely broad, oil pens and concentrate vaporizers will at least temporarily have a target on their back.
This will force a lot of companies to stop shipping out wax devices while searching for temporary solutions for getting their products into the hands of customers.
It is also going to leave a lot of consumers out in the cold, who have previously purchased devices, but can no longer source wax accessories, like a new bucket for their e-rig or coil for their wax pen.
What can you do to help?
While things may seem pretty dire, now is the time to mobilize the vaporizer community and have our voices heard. A coalition of vaporizer companies have assembled to do just that. In fact, this is the first time in the industry that the top vaporizer companies have band together like this.
If you’d like to help we ask that you either click on this link to vote or write to PCFederalRegister@usps.gov with the subject line: E-Cigarette Restrictions and ask that they rewrite the definition of ENDS to not include personal vaporizers designed for use with non-tobacco herbs or concentrates of non-tobacco herbs that do not contain nicotine, such as hemp and aromatics.
With enough of our voices together, we are confident that we can get USPS to clarify their definition and save non-tobacco and non-nicotine related vaping products from being swept up in this act.
If you are a medical patient who requires these types of devices for your quality of life, this will drastically impact how you are able to obtain them. If at all.
Final Thoughts – A Call For Clarity
At the end of the day, we can understand the intent of the act. We agree that keeping nicotine and tobacco products out of the hands of kids is very important.
However, with such broad strokes in the act and ambiguous wording, this act can be extremely damaging to both businesses and consumers of products that are non-nicotine or tobacco-related.
As it stands right now, there is a ton of confusion and panic among both consumers and businesses. We need clarity and transparency. A blanket ban of these types of goods is not the solution.
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