In The Know: Flavor Ban Breakdowns By State

By Christopher Horton •  Updated: 07/13/20 •  5 min read

Flavor bans have been a sweeping issue in the United States. Whether it is the ominous FDA rules, or the individual state rules. Here is a current list of State rules for vaping as of July 2020.

This past year has been very tough for anyone in the vape industry. Before we saw any of the bogus “Vaping deaths” we saw legislation starting to hit the courts. The legislation began as a way to fight the “Youth Vaping Epidemic”, and combat access to flavored products.

On December 27th, the entire country enacted the T21 law. This makes any tobacco product or vape product illegal to purchase for anyone under the age of 21. As of July 2020, Youth Vaping is down by 40%.

While as many as 16 states enacted some sort of ban initially at the end of 2019, many have released their bans.

Many of the bans last year were temporary. Usually lasting 30-90 days. For some small business owners, that was long enough to close their doors forever. And some states have placed even harsher laws than their predecessors.

You may find that a few vendors still ship to these places. But they are few and far between considering the fines imposed on the shipper.

These are the current states with outstanding bans. We will continue to update this list as situations change.

New York State

New York currently has a ban enacted to ship or receive vaping products as of July 1st 2020. All liquid, and hardware is included. Beyond shipping, not point of sale contact is allowed either.

This includes the entire state. New York has been the most extreme when it comes to vaping practices, and their new law is no exception.

New Jersey

All flavored E-liquids are currently banned in New Jersey. Only sales of Tobacco flavored liquids is allowed. Currently, it IS legal to ship products there. Whether this loophole was intentional or just an oversight, it has been a blessing for many vapers that were caught off guard during the cutoff date, in the midst of a pandemic.

Many New Jersey businesses have shut their doors due to the inability to sell flavored e-liquid.

Massachusetts

While there was initially a total vape ban in the state, the newer laws allow shipping to the customer. The items must be signed for, and must be Tobacco flavor only. This includes hardware of any kind as well.

Orders must be placed by phone, and received by the same person who placed the order.

Rhode island

The state has lifted it’s original ban of all nicotine/ENDS products. Only Tobacco flavors are permitted currently. Hardware can still be shipped and purchased in state.

This is a big win compared to the original ban. However, their original ban knocked out a ton of storefront businesses.

Connecticut

The original ban on all vape related items has been lifted. Currently there is legislation on the table to re-instate the ban. Confusingly though, there is also a bill regarding a flavor ban also.

Nothing has been voted into law yet. We will keep you updated on any changes.

California

California is in a tough spot right now. San Francisco paved the way with a total ban and many counties and cities are following suit. San Francisco currently has a ban on all products. Hardware included.

The list of all places affected is simply too long to mention. There are over 200 bills being looked at across the state.

90% of E-juice manufacturers are located in California. So far, these bills and regulations have not had an impact on their ability to ship out-of-state. Many brands like Naked and Vapetasia got their start in Southern California, and still have production facilities there.

Depending on your location, you are either looking at a total ban of all vaping related devices, or a flavor ban. Please check CASAA for a full list.

Flavors Are A Big Deal

Flavored e-juices are usually much more appealing to a long-term tobacco user. When I made the switch, tobacco was the last flavor I wanted. Most vapers have a preferred flavor they enjoy that does not remind them of tobacco.

On the business side of things, flavored liquids are what turns profit for your local vape shop. Liquid is not only the best selling item in any establishment, but it is also what keeps the lights on, and employees paid.

Profits can be made on hardware and accessories, of course. The margin is much lower, though. Like we have now seen in New Jersey, vape shops cannot stay in business without e-juice sales.

This is not only an attack on the vape industry. This is an attack on small businesses as well. If you cannot sell your one product that makes profit, then why stay open?

Join CASAA

Right now, we need all of the info we can possibly get regarding our right to vape. CASAA has a fantastic mailing list, and keeps you up to date with not only your state, but the country as a whole. Legislation can happen fast (sometimes overnight). Be the first to know about any issues within your state.

Their “Calls to Action” often presents you with access to petitions and contact info for law makers.

Know your state, and know your rights.

Christopher Horton

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