The April Vape Mail Ban will be the Collapse of an Industry - Why is online shopping for e-liquids impossible explained.
To cut it to the chase and keep it up front with you guys, the bill banning Vape Mail is probably the last hit our industry can take, and by the looks of it... this might be it. The end.
With a lot of luck, we made it until today, standing still serving and carrying out the good fight against smoking and the greed that puts Americans' lives in danger by taking away our constitutional rights to access harm reduction products.
I'm honestly speechless, and it is without a doubt one of the hardest things I've had to write because there is simply no real solid solution we can think of to dodge this bullet somehow. The US Bill Banning Vape Mail is a ban on all shipments of vaping products by the US Postal Sevice. The S 1253: "Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act" has recently passed the house and was signed into law by President Trump on December 27th.
A few months ago, we looked at a partial ban that gave us hope we won't be necessarily forced into shutting down completely. Removing USPS as an option meant that some people would have no way of purchasing vapor products. Because private carriers, while being more expensive they do not deliver mail to all Americans. Deliveries to rural areas or neighborhoods they deem "dangerous" are outsourced to USPS to cut costs. So really, for us to remove USPS, it's already a massive loss on its own because the majority of our customers will have no way of getting their packages.If that wasn't enough to deal with... now even private delivery services, such as UPS, FedEx, or DHL, completely banned shipping vape products to consumers.
"Effective April 5th, 2021, UPS will not transport vaping products to, from, or within the United States due to the increased complexity to ship those products."
Here's the breakdown, and the dates:
- USPS will not be shipping direct to consumers on or around April 27th.
- FedEx has stated they will not ship vapor products starting March 1st.
- UPS has stated they will not ship vapor products on or after April 5th.
- DHL already restricts domestic shipping of vapor products.
This is all the results of The PACT Act (Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act) that requires online retailers to collect state/local taxes before shipping orders, register with the federal government, and provide detailed information every month to each state's tax department, including the names and addresses of each customer.
Penalties for not complying with the PACT Act include up to three years in prison.
Interested parties will have 30 days to comment on the U.S. Postal Service rules adn therefore subimt an apeal mailing electronic nicotine-delivery systems (ENDS). The USPS posted the rules on Wednesday and they were published in the Federal Register today. Comments must be submitted by March 22. The rules will presumably go into effect on March 27.
The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, which placed ENDS under the PACT Act, was enacted on December 27, 2020 and becomes effective 90 days after enactment (March 27, 2021). The USPO rule states that the agency will only mail ENDS products under narrowly defined circumstances:
- Non-contiguous States: intrastate shipments within Alaska or Hawaii;
- Business/Regulatory Purposes: shipments transmitted between verified and authorized tobacco industry businesses for business purposes, or between such businesses and federal or state agencies for regulatory purposes;
- Certain Individuals: lightweight shipments mailed between adult individuals, limited to 10 per 30-day period;
- Consumer Testing: limited shipments of cigarettes sent by verified and authorized manufacturers to adult smokers for consumer testing purposes;
- Public Health: limited shipments by federal agencies for public health purposes under similar rules applied to manufacturers conducting consumer testing.
Many business were unsure if B2B mailing would be allowed. The unpublished rules say they will be allowed. According to Azim Chowdhury, a partner at Keller and Heckman, the PACT Act has historically exempted businesses-to-business deliveries from the USPS ban.
Specifically, the USPS ban does not extend to tobacco products mailed only for business purposes between legally operating businesses that have all applicable state and federal government licenses or permits and are engaged in tobacco product manufacturing, distribution, wholesale, export, import, testing, investigation, or research.
“Companies seeking to use USPS for business-to-business deliveries must first submit an application to the USPS Pricing and Classification Service Center and comply with several other shipping, labeling, and delivery requirements,” said Chowdhury.
Can't we buy in-store 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 PMTA enforcement around the corner, the selection of products deemed legal by the government will be so small that many stores won't be able to survive.
Why are they doing this?
This bill's supporters 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 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, which are about to become much more popular after September.
What about DIY products?
The ban will include all vapor products, including DIY supplies. We cannot restructure our company to provide the tools for you guys to make your own vape juices.
The main issue with DIY supplies is the nicotine part. PG/VG and flavoring concentrates are used in many other applications, so we do not foresee any problem shipping those to DIY customers.
But it's still unclear if it will be a viable option since the critical ingredient is nicotine. And things seem to change day by day aggravating the situation.
What is the future of Freeman Vape Juice?
We are still working on alternative solutions but unfortunately cannot provide any concrete information now. We suggest to all our customers to order and stock up now, the future does not look bright.
On April the 21st, no company will allow us to send you any mail. We are no longer dealing with the FDA. This is the ATF and they come in guns blazing.
If you have any ideas about how we could go about this please email firstname.lastname@example.org, we are all ears.
Email comments, containing the name and address of the commenter, may be sent to: PCFederalRegister@usps.gov, with a subject line of “E-Cigarette Restrictions.” Faxed comments are not accepted.