COVID-19 Relief Legislation Bans USPS From Shipping Vaping Products

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Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association, released the following statement on this latest development:

“While there is no shortage of talk in Congress about the importance of small businesses and social distancing, the decision to shove this ban in the middle of a pandemic relief package reveals how hollow that rhetoric is. Many Americans at risk of COVID-19 complications have been staying home and ordering their supplies online, but Congress just decided they should either pay much more for shipping or go to a retail store that may not stock the product they use to stay off deadly cigarettes.

“If the increase in shipping costs wasn’t enough, the bill also imposes huge paperwork burdens on small retailers, and backs it up with threats of imprisonment for even innocent mistakes. This is not a law designed to regulate the mail-order sale of vaping products to adults; it’s an attempt to eliminate it.

“The sponsors of this legislation repeatedly refused to consider common sense amendments that would have protected youth, while also not needlessly shutting down small businesses. Thanks to their intransigence, the language included in the omnibus is so sloppily drafted that it will also ban the USPS from shipping CBD liquids intended to be vaporized, as well as devices intended for use with THC or other non-nicotine substances.

In an article on this subject printed by the Winston-Salem Journal, FiscalNote analyst Stefanie Miller made the prediction that “well-capitalized” manufacturers would be able to pay the costs to be in compliance with these new policies while small manufacturers likely will be forced out of the market as they are unable to take on the new financial burdens.

You can find the new provisions impacting vapor and e-cigarette products on page 5136 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 by clicking here.