Last March, a number of Representatives for the state of Vermont, had proposed HB 26, a bill which bans direct-to-consumer online sales of vapor products.
CASAA has explained that since Vermont is a small rural state, local vapers do not have access to specialty vapor retailers, hence this ban could drive them to smoking.
“This bill proposes to prohibit anyone from selling electronic cigarettes, liquids containing nicotine or otherwise intended for use with an electronic cigarette, or tobacco paraphernalia in Vermont unless that person is a licensed wholesale dealer or purchased the items from a licensed wholesale dealer. It would also prohibit shipping these items to anyone in Vermont other than a licensed wholesale dealer or retailer,” read the proposal.
At the time, the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA), had pointed out that since Vermont is a small rural state with very few vape shops, local vapers do not have access to specialty vapor retailers. This means that by banning online sales, this bill protects the sales of combustible cigarettes, by possibly driving former smokers back to purchasing cigarettes, as they will be more easily available than their safer alternatives.
Sadly, H. 26 passed both the house and senate with veto-proof majorities, and at the start of the legislative session, Governor Scott has pledged to sign the bill if it came before him. Hence CASAA is once again urging vapers to make contact with Governor Scott’s office and urge him to veto the online sales ban:
“Take Action – Send a Message!
(Original Post – 03.12.19)
A bill, H. 26, which would ban direct-to-consumer online sales of vapor products is expected to be called on the floor of the Vermont House for a vote on
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Please take a moment, today, and click here to send a message to your state representative urging them to oppose this bill.
While H. 26 is a well-intentioned response to panic about youth access to nicotine and tobacco products, lawmakers are failing to consider two very important things.
1) Online access is not driving the reported spike in youth use of vapor products.
2) Banning online sales will deny access to many people who smoke and those who quit by switching to vaping.
Vermont is a small, rural state with few vape shops, which means that many people do not have access to specialty vapor retailers. While some people might believe that banning online sales will bolster their business or achieve the goal of preventing youth access, in reality, H. 26 will protect sales of cigarettes–the most visible tobacco product on the market–and deny access to law-abiding adults.
CASAA is urging our members in Vermont to express opposition to this bill and any attempts by the legislature to make safer alternatives to smoking less available and less affordable.”