OOn July 12, more than four hundred vaping companies urged FedEx to reverse a policy prohibiting the company from shipping and receiving vaping products. Together, these small businesses signed a letter organized by the American Vaping Association (AVA) which insists that the delivery ban of the factor will prevent consumers from getting the vapes and e-cigarettes they used to quit smoking. Current FedEx rules do not allow the shipping of business-to-business vaping products or directly to vapers, many of whom might have difficulty obtaining them if they live in rural areas.
The letter is something of a last resort effort, a desperate request. Tobacco harm reduction advocates, vapers and manufacturers have been eagerly awaiting since December 2020, when then-President Donald Trump signed a COVID-19 relief bill that update the Law on the Prevention of All Trafficking in Cigarettes (PACT).
This decision amended the 2010 legislation – revised to become the Prevention of Online Sales of Electronic Cigarettes to Children Act, but still referred to as the PACT Act – to include all E-cigarettes and vaping products in what in the vaping community has come to be known simply as the âe-mail banâ.
The situation around the United States Postal Service (USPS) is convoluted and endlessly confusing. In short, the agency has not yet implemented the latest version of the PACT law. But as soon as it does, vaping shipments, either direct to consumers or business to business, will have to cease, subject to certain potential future exemptions.
Apparently this change has happened, is happening, arriving for months and in April, USPS publish a list of guidelines for requesting possible exemptions. However, it won’t review any of them in advance, and there is widespread concern that vaping stores will close before the USPS even has a chance to look into these exemption requests.
In addition to all this, the main delivery services like FedEx and the United Parcel Service (UPS) have already made their own decisions to stop shipping vaping products. (DHL has a similar ban in place.)
“If consumers are not able to access or afford these reduced risk alternatives to cigarettes, they will be forced to turn to combustible tobacco.”
The relentlessly forthcoming implementation of the PACT Act has been a source of contempt for those who believe that it will bankrupt both the majority of vaping stores and mainstream producers, while limiting access to vaping. lifesaving technology for smokers looking to quit. . Without private carriers like FedEx, and with USPS exemptions unlikely to happen quickly, vape producers and consumers are at their wit’s end.
âWe rely on companies like FedEx to stock our shelves and meet customer demand,â the letter said. âWithout the ability to order wholesale vaping products or ship their products to consumers, vaping stores have seen their shipping options skyrocket or evaporate altogether. âIf consumers cannot access or afford these reduced risk alternatives to cigarettes, they will be forced to switch to combustible tobacco, which is much more dangerous and will have lifelong consequences on their health. “
And since many vape makers are family-owned stores, the letter’s authors say, they lack access to the large-scale alternative distribution channels the tobacco industry uses to deliver combustible cigarettes to retailers.
“FedEx is doing a huge disservice to small businesses and American consumers,” Greg Conley, president of AVA, said in a press release. âThey are playing into the hands of Big Tobacco, which directly benefits from policies that make change more expensive for adult smokers. Not only are vaping products legal and regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, they save lives by preventing people from smoking combustible cigarettes.
Photograph by erikleenaars via Flickr / Creative Commons 2.0
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