A nationwide measure, S 1253: “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act,” passed the house last year and was signed into law by President Trump on the 27th of December 2020. The bill banned all shipments of vaping products by the US Postal Service, and would have forced all other postal delivery services (such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL) to check IDs and obtain signatures of adults at points of delivery.
To this effect, FedEx and the United Parcel Service (UPS) had already halted shipping vaping products from their end. However in April 2021, the U.S. Postal Service announced that it was delaying the ban. In an exclusive to Marijuana Business Daily, a spokesperson for the USPS said that more time is required “to review how to implement the changes ordered by Congress.”
Yet, FedEx and UPS did not reverse the ban from their end, with FedEx’s current rules preventing the shipment of vaping products from business to business or directly to vapers, many of whom live in remote areas were they might have difficulty obtaining them. This has prompted hundreds of small businesses to send a signed a letter organized by the AVA highlighting that the mail carrier’s delivery ban will prevent consumers from obtaining the products they’ve used to stop smoking.
Making safer alternatives unavailable is counterproductive
The letter is something of a last-ditch effort, a desperate ask. “If consumers are not able to access or afford these reduced-risk alternatives to cigarettes, they will be forced to turn back to combustible tobacco.”
“We rely on companies like FedEx to stock our store shelves and meet customer demand,” adds the letter. “Without the option to order vaping products at wholesale or ship their products to consumers, vape stores have seen their shipping options skyrocket in cost or evaporate entirely.
AVA president Greg Conley, highlighted that this measure is counterproductive. “FedEx is doing a great disservice to American small businesses and consumers,” he said in a press statement. “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 and Drug Administration, but they are saving lives by keeping people off combustible cigarettes.”
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