US: New bill would restrict online sales of vape products
A newly passed bill could make it much more difficult for American vapers to get their hands on vaping equipment
The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act would require vape products to be signed on delivery by an adult.
Originally introduced to the Senate by Dianne Feinstein in April, the bill was brought to the House of Representatives in July by Rosa DeLauro and was passed in October.
The bill is intended to stop children from purchasing vape equipment over the internet, as online shops are often not as stringent with age verification as retail stores.
DeLauro said in a press release after the House passed the bill:
“There is broad, bipartisan agreement that kids should not be able to obtain dangerous e-cigarette products—whether in-person or online. That is why the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act closes loopholes that exempt online e-cigarette retailers from federal age verification requirements”
She cited the “youth vaping epidemic” and recent string of illnesses associated with vaping as the reason for the bill.
“With one in four high school students using e-cigarettes, and more vaping-related illnesses and deaths every day, it is long past time our government take on its moral responsibility to solve this problem.
“This legislation is not a silver bullet to end the youth vaping epidemic—which is why I have called for a ban on all e-cigarette products and comprehensive legislation to address the issue—but it is a good start”
DeLauro intends to cover a loophole in the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act, which became law in 2010 and requires online tobacco sellers to ensure the buyer’s age is verified by the delivery agent on arrival.
Vape products were not included in this legislation as vaping was still an emerging industry at the time.
The passing of the bill in the House means that, if the Senate also decides to pass it, the president would decide whether or not the bill becomes law.
Vape enthusiasts are against the bill, since it makes it harder for those who live far from vape stores to purchase new products.
It would also raise the cost of buying vape products online by $15-$20 per shipment, making vaping less affordable to those who require a less harmful alternative to smoking.
Vape YouTuber Matt from SMM tweeted:
I live in Montana. While there’s vape shops near me, there’s people in this state who don’t live within 100 miles of one. We should always fight for online retailers as hard as we do for brick and mortars.
— Matt From SMM (@SuckMyMod) November 14, 2019