Two U.S. Senators have written a letter urging the United States Postal Service (USPS) to finalize rules for mailing vapor products. Senators Dianne Feinstein and John Cornyn asked Postmaster General Louis DeJoy to implement regulations required by the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children (PACT) Act, which was signed into law on December 21, 2020.
The rule requires the USPS to apply the same mailing restrictions to e-cigarette products that are currently in place for traditional cigarettes. “As you know, the law requires the U.S. Postal Service to promulgate these new regulations by April 26, 2021, which is 120 days after enactment. We are now seven weeks past that deadline, and the regulations still have not been published,” the letter states. “We urge you to publish these new regulations as soon as possible in accordance with the requirements of the law.”
Tobacco and vapor companies may use private services to ship their products to consumers, but the PACT Act requires them to register with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the tobacco tax administrators of the states into which a shipment is made. Delivery sellers are further required to verify the age and identity of the customer at purchase and maintain records of delivery sales for a period of four years after the date of sale, creating substantial administrative burdens.
“As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, it is imperative that the U.S. Postal Service immediately implement these new regulations to ensure the harmful effects from the ongoing youth vaping crisis aren’t compounded by the lingering risks posed by the pandemic,” the letter states.
Critically for the vapor industry, the most popular carriers, Federal Express and United Parcel Service also ended all deliveries of vapor products. This has forced many online retailers to close or alternative shipping methods.