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Businesses Demand FedEx Change

Marginalised communities and the businesses that serve them will suffer without FedEx changes, argues a letter from the AVA signed by 428 small business owners

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The American Vaping Association (AVA), a pro-vaping advocacy organisation, sent a letter to FedEx signed by 428 small business owners that urges FedEx to reconsider its new policy that prohibits the shipping or receiving any electronic cigarette or vaping product. The letter warns that a failure to change policy will lead to unintended consequences, including perpetuating smoking-related deaths, especially in marginalised communities.

The AVA is a non-profit organisation advocating for “fair and sensible regulation of vapour products, otherwise known as electronic cigarettes, with the goal of maximising the number of adult smokers who use these products to quit smoking.”

It was founded by Gregory Conley, and is “dedicated to educating the public and government officials about public health benefits offered by vapour products.” It is not a trade body representing business interests.

The AVA (1) says: “Small businesses across the country rely on common carriers like FedEx, UPS and DHL to meet customer demands and to get lifesaving products in the hands of those who need them most.

“Unfortunately, in the wake of the decision by Congress in December 2020 to prohibit the United States Postal Service from delivering vaping products to consumers, these private carriers responded by prohibiting their customers from shipping vaping products to both businesses and consumers.

“Now, small businesses across the country are feeling the brunt of these new policies, which make vaping products harder to ship than firearms.”

The AVA believes the impact of the policy change will disproportionately hit minority and low-income communities. The letter (2) highlights that these communities “smoke cigarettes at higher rates than white and more affluent populations,” and Black Americans are among the most likely demographic to switch to vaping as a means to quit smoking.

AVA President Gregory Conley said: “FedEx is doing a great disservice to American small businesses and consumers. They are playing right into the hands of Big Tobacco, which directly benefits from policies that make it more expensive for adult smokers to switch. Not only are vaping products legal and regulated by the Food & Drug Administrations, but they saving lives by keeping people off combustible cigarettes.”

The letter begins: “We are writing to urge you to reconsider your company’s new shipping restrictions on electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), commonly known as vaping products. This misguided and unnecessary corporate policy separates adult smokers from products that are proven to help them quit combustible tobacco. It also threatens thousands of small businesses like ours, which rely on common carriers like FedEx to ship the lifesaving products we stock every day. Please reconsider this disastrous decision, which will perpetuate another generation of smoking-related deaths – especially among underprivileged communities.”

The full letter can be read at the link below.


  1. The American Vaping Association -
  2. The AVA letter -
Dave Cross avatar

Dave Cross

Journalist at POTV
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Dave is a freelance writer; with articles on music, motorbikes, football, pop-science, vaping and tobacco harm reduction in Sounds, Melody Maker, UBG, AWoL, Bike, When Saturday Comes, Vape News Magazine, and syndicated across the Johnston Press group. He was published in an anthology of “Greatest Football Writing”, but still believes this was a mistake. Dave contributes sketches to comedy shows and used to co-host a radio sketch show. He’s worked with numerous vape companies to develop content for their websites.

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