In late December 2020, Congress passed a huge spending package that included a coronavirus relief bill, and—buried deep in the 5,000-page document—a law entitled the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act. It was quickly signed into law by President Trump. The act is commonly referred to by vapers as the “vape mail ban,” but its effects will be much more profound than the prohibition on postal delivery that gave it its nickname.
The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act wasn’t new. It had already passed the House in October 2019 and the Senate in July 2020 in slightly different forms. CASAA issued a call to action for the bill before it passed the Senate in the summer, but few vapers or vaping businesses seemed especially alarmed by the prospect of its passage.
The new law does two things:
Instructs the U.S. Postal Service to create regulations prohibiting shipment of all vaping products through the U.S. Mail to residential addresses
Inserts vaping products into the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act. (The PACT Act is an amendment to the older federal Jenkins Act)
The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act covers a much wider range of products than the FDA’s Deeming Rule, and is unrelated to the FDA’s tobacco and vaping regulations. The definition of products covered by the law is so broad that it captures not just nicotine vaping devices and e-liquid, but anything that can be used to vape any liquid- or oil-based substance (and the substances themselves).
Unlike the relatively relaxed enforcement procedures of the FDA, the ATF is an actual police agency that takes its enforcement mandate seriously.
The postal ban and PACT Act provisions will include all e-liquid and oil vaping devices, nicotine and nicotine-free e-liquids, CBD and delta 8 carts, liquids and oils, and every related component, part or accessory intended for those products.
Following passage of the new law, the major private delivery companies announced that they too would stop delivering vaping products, not just to homes but also to businesses. Fedex will end vape product shipping March 1, and UPS on April 5. DHL had already prohibited shipping vaping and nicotine products in the U.S. before the law passed.
What follows is a general look at what is likely to happen as a result of the new shipping restrictions and the PACT Act. The article is geared toward vaping consumers, who make up most of Vaping360’s readership, but will also touch on the likely effects for vape businesses. It is not legal or business advice. If you own a vaping business, you should be discussing your options with a knowledgeable lawyer, your suppliers, and your state trade organizations.