Hidden away on page 5,136 was the proposal to ban the United States Postal Service from carrying vape products to adult consumers. The American Vaping Association (AVA) says that “due to sloppy drafting”, “the definition used in the bill is so broad that it appears to capture vaping liquids containing CBD and standalone devices intended for vaping THC or other substances.”
AVA warned: “All orders of vaping products will be required to ship using an alternate, considerably more expensive service that verifies the recipient of a package is at least 21 years old. Furthermore, starting 90 days after enactment, all Internet and mail-order retailers will be required to file voluminous monthly reports with State, Native tribes, and local governments disclosing the identity, address, and product orders of all customer orders to their jurisdiction, as well as remit any excise taxes owed.”
How did such thing come to pass? Well, consumers failed to get behind the protests in sufficient numbers. One petition has only managed to obtain 2060 signatures of the 97,940 required in order to get a response from the White House [link]. If CASAA’s call to action to send an email to President Trump gained any traction, the move failed to sway him from removing the anti-vape sections.
AVA President Greg Conley commented: “While there is no shortage of talk in Congress about the importance of small businesses and social distancing, the decision to shove this ban in the middle of a pandemic relief package reveals how hollow that rhetoric is. Many Americans at risk of COVID-19 complications have been staying home and ordering their supplies online, but Congress just decided they should either pay much more for shipping or go to a retail store that may not stock the product they use to stay off deadly cigarettes.”
He continued: “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. 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 sponsors of this legislation repeatedly refused to consider common sense amendments that would have protected youth, while also not needlessly shutting down small businesses. Thanks to their intransigence, the language included in the omnibus is so sloppily drafted that it will also ban the USPS from shipping CBD liquids intended to be vaporized, as well as devices intended for use with THC or other non-nicotine substances.
"There are still 36 million American adults smoking combustible cigarettes and over 400,000 will die from smoking-related illnesses this year alone. The American people should start questioning why their government is so intent on making it harder for adults to quit smoking."
Vendors who now fail to register or comply with the new rules will open themselves up to severe penalties that include up to three years in prison.
Some organisations with no regard for the lives of adult smokers applauded the passing of the Bill. The National Alliance for Hispanic Health claimed vaping is linked to COVID-19 (it isn’t), and said: “It is more important than ever to have all tools necessary to reverse rates of vaping among youth.”
As we highlighted last month, the American teen vaping rate is dropping as the fad is dying off – but facts don’t matter to their agenda: “Online sales are a critical component of reversing e-cigarette use for youth as online and mobile advertising platforms are popular places for e-cigarette advertising, including ads for flavoured products appealing to youth, and a majority of internet vendors could not effectively verify age or made no attempt at all to verify.”
Some vapers took to social media to say they were not worried about the new rules [link].