UPDATE: The bill passed unanimously. The USPS will no longer be able to ship vaping products after July, 2020.
Back in November 2019, The Senate proposed a bill under the name of S-1253. This would bill ensures a total United States Postal Service Vape Mail ban. Here is everything you need to know, including how to fight back.
The Senate’s Vape Mail Ban
The proposed bill S-1253, first came about at the end of last year. The bill states that the USPS would be completely prohibited from accepting any form of vape mail being delivered to individual consumers. This includes liquid, hardware, and even batteries from hundreds of domestic retailers.
This will force you, as a consumer to use only private carriers. The reason for this would be age verification upon delivery. This becomes a two-fold problem. Not only do you need to be home when your products are being delivered, but this drastically bumps up the cost of shipping to you, the consumer. This could result in a few extra dollars, up to 20% of your total purchase. Prices all depend on the distance traveled, and the weight of the package.
A Cruel Blow At A Tough Time
Due to Covid-19, online vape sales are at an all time high. Many online retailers have seen a huge spike in sales since many states see vaping as a “Non-essential” business. Vape mail is at an all-time high across the country.
The bill not only has an effect on the consumer. Many websites and companies have contracts with the Postal Service, which allow them to offer special rates. This why you see so many offers for free shipping if you spend X amount of dollars with a retailer. S-1253 would cut ties with the Postal Service all together for these big websites.
This again hurts the consumer. But it also takes a toll on the United States Postal Service, whom amid the current business climate has been struggling for years. This comes as one more nail in the coffin of a struggling institution that employs over a hundred thousand American workers.
The biggest consumer blow will come to people who live in rural areas. Many vapers use online retailers almost exclusively, due to where they live. Some people have reported to CASAA that the nearest vape shop may be a 100 mile round trip, making a quick stop to the local vape shop nearly impossible. This also effects areas where public transit doesn’t exist.
Even though face-to-face transactions at a vape shop is the preferred way to end any allegations of teen vaping, for some people it is just not feasible.
Playing Devil’s Advocate
Age verification and teen vaping have been hot topics when it comes to legislation. While it’s easy to point out the flaws of this bill, it’s also easy to see a bit of sensibility. If the issue of teen vaping is such a problem, this is yet another safeguard in place as prevention.
I cannot have a prescription of a controlled substance delivered to my doorstep without requiring a signature and photo ID. While nicotine and tobacco products are not necessarily in the same realm, they still carry similar restrictions.
So while this bill may be incredibly inconvenient for many people, it also presents a more controlled environment. And perhaps a step in the right direction for legislation, and a clearer path to legality when it comes to vaping in The United States.
All of this comes at the same time as the quickly approaching PMTA guideline enforcement. Which could impose even harsher regulations on vapers throughout the United States.
What Can You Do?
Besides stocking up on vape juice and getting in all the hardware you can, there’s not much we can do, save for emailing your senators and representatives.
Maybe give Uncle Joe a tweet, see if he can help. Or, failing that, follow the guidelines from CASAA.
CASAA.org has created a “Call to Action” regarding Bill S-1253 where you can have your voice heard by clicking here and following the directions.
The Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) is a non-profit 501(c)(4) organization with an all-volunteer board and a grassroots membership of more than two hundred thousand individuals from all walks of life, and we are growing daily. We are a consumer organization, not a trade association. We are dedicated to ensuring the availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking and to providing smokers and non-smokers alike with honest information about those alternatives so that they can make informed choices.
You can become a member of CASAA for free, buy joining their email list.