US – Keep Vape Mail Legal! (Reject S.1253)
(Update – 07.18.20)
S. 1253 has already passed the Senate and will now be voted on by the House, maybe as soon as Monday (7/20). If passed, this bill will outlaw vape mail through the US Postal Service and within six months it will be illegal to ship any vapor products via USPS.
What happens to online purchases?
Banning USPS from shipping vapor products will force companies to use private carriers like FedEx and UPS. In addition to these carriers being more expensive than USPS, they also do not deliver mail to all Americans. Private carriers routinely outsource deliveries to rural areas or neighborhoods they deem “dangerous” to USPS in order to cut costs. Removing USPS as an option means that some people will have no way of purchasing vapor products. For everyone else, it means they will pay higher prices and they’ll be forced to break social distancing rules because a signature will be required on delivery. Additionally, private carriers could eventually cave to political pressures and also ban the shipment of vapor products.
Can’t we just purchase in stores instead?
Not all consumers of vapor products have access to brick and mortar stores due to their health, disabilities, or even their location. And with the PMTA deadline quickly approaching in September, the selection of products deemed legal by the government will be so small that many stores won’t be able to legally stay open.
Meanwhile, cigarettes will remain the most visible and widely accessible tobacco product in the history of the world.
Why are they doing this?
The supporters of this bill argue that preventing the shipment of vapor products will prevent teens from getting their hands on it, and reduce youth usage. What they don’t tell you is that less than 6% of youth report buying vapor products online, according to the CDC’s 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Most young people report getting vapor products and other age-restricted products from friends, family, and informal sources–sources that are about to become much more popular after September.
Not only is S. 1253 a solution in search of a problem;
it’s part of the problem!
S. 1253, which would prohibit shipping vapor products through the USPS (just like the ban on mailing cigarettes) was passed by the Senate on July 2, and the text of the amended bill is finally available on congress .gov.
While a significant amendment was adopted that requires an extensive list of research to be completed, the effect of the bill remains the same: No vapor products will be allowed to be shipped via the USPS. This means increased costs to consumers and new barriers to access for law-abiding adults.
At the same time, this bill will do very little to discourage young people from seeking out informal sources of age-restricted and illicit products. Friends, family, and strangers will continue supplying underage experimenters while people who don’t have access to a reliable brick and mortar vape shop will be pressured to return to smoking. (Cigarettes are still the most widely sold and popular tobacco product on the market!)
S. 1253, which would prohibit mailing vapor products through the USPS and require signature on delivery (with added cost) may be heading to a vote by the full senate within the hour.
If you think that protecting access to low-risk vapor products for people who can’t get to a vape shop is valuable, then now is the time to surge emails to your senators.
(Update – 06.29.20)
Last week, CASAA members sent more than 3000 messages to congress urging officials to reject a ban on vape mail shipped via the USPS. Despite your response, S. 1253 is getting closer to moving forward by the day.
need a sustained response to this bill in order to demonstrate to
lawmakers that many people rely on getting vapor products by mail and
that consumers shouldn’t be paying unnecessary extra costs in order to
access safer alternatives to smoking.
Please click here to take action now
by contacting your senators
and urging them to reject this bill.
In the midst of a pandemic involving a severe respiratory illness, the last thing that officials should be implementing is a policy that threatens to send millions of people back to smoking!
Thank you for taking action!
– CASAA Legislative Team