Vape Mail Ban 2021

Posted by Robert Taney on

Shipping Update 2021

Kure Vapes is working with regional and specialty to carriers to expand our shipping network. It may take up to 14 days to receive your order and not all areas of the country will be initially covered.

Subscribing to our newsletter or checking in for updates is the best way to stay apprised of the status of your area. We will be launching a tool so you can search your zip code shortly. 

USPS Vape Mail Ban

The PACT Act, which is an acronym for the Preventing All Cigarette Trafficking Act, prohibits the shipping of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) devices and e-liquid products through USPS. This ban was officially implemented on October 20, 2021.

The stated goal of the PACT Act is to prevent all cigarette trafficking. Ironically, the law might help boost combustible cigarette sales and threatens the independent vaping industry. 

Big Tobacco and their e-cigarette selling subsidiaries greatly benefit from the passing of the PACT Act. Smaller businesses and adults who choose to use legal vaping products suffer.

One of former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb's most overlooked comments is that it would be a net gain in all cigarette smokers switched to an ENDS. The concern was always balancing underage use and adult access.

Regulatory Capture?

Regulatory capture is a theory that often plays out in practice in the United States. It occurs when government agencies are dominated by the biggest stakeholders in the industry they are meant to regulate and not by public interest.

An unrelated form of corruption would be when elected officials grandstand to influence the decisions of regulatory agencies. Current US Senators badgering the FDA to reject PMTAs certainly seems to cross that line. Pillsbury v. the Federal Trade Commission specifically bars such lobbying. 

The PACT Act manages to both cut off adult vapers and reward the company viewed as most responsible for the increase in teen vaping with a virtual monopoly. Juul, Vuse, Logic and Blu would be unchallenged in many areas if it wasn't for the resilience of the vaping industry and regional freight carriers.

If there was ever a scenario that smelled of regulatory capture, an expansive law folded at the last minute into a pandemic relief bill that punishes good-faith actors in the vaping industry and rewards those responsible for producing combustible cigarettes and the vaping products most popular with minors would certainly seem to qualify. 

Additional PACT Act Restrictions

For consumers, the USPS mail ban is the most visible restriction on vaping but the updating of the 1949 Jenkins Act was also a huge deal. The PACT Act amended the Jenkins Act to include electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

The Jenkins Act is a federal law which requires any party selling and shipping cigarettes across state lines to an unlicensed party or distributor to report the sale to the tobacco tax administrator in the buyer's state. 

An ENDS is defined by law as “any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device.” No exception was made for CBD or similar products. Perhaps understandably, considering the grey area of their legality at the state and federal level.

The rewritten law covers e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, pens, disposables, pods, liquid, parts, and accessories. Even components sold separately are covered. There are no exemptions for hemp, medical marijuana, or CBD.

Taxes and Penalties

Vape products are now subject to both the PACT Act and the Jenkins Act. Online retailers must comply with the following restrictions:

  • Register with the US Attorney General.
  • Verify age of customers using a commercially available database.
  • Use private shippers that collect an adult signature at the point of delivery.
  • Register with the federal government and with state tobacco tax administrators if selling in states that tax vaping products.
  • Collect all applicable local and state taxes and affix any required tax stamps to the products sold.
  • Send each taxing state’s tax administrator a list of all transactions with buyers in their state. This includes the names and addresses of each customer sold to, the quantities and types of each product sold.
  • Maintain records for five years of any “delivery interrupted because the carrier or service determines or has reason to believe that the person ordering the delivery is in violation of the law.”
  • Shipments cannot exceed 10 pounds
  • All packages be marked that they contain cigarettes.

Vape companies who do not register, pay all appropriate excise taxes, or comply with the shipping and reporting rules of the law are subject to severe penalties, including up to three years in prison. 

Cost to Consumers

Providing an incentive to switch back to combustible cigarettes and driving all vape manufacturers not owned by Big Tobacco companies out of business was presumably not a goal of the PACT Act. Fortunately, Kure has been able to locate affordable and reliable shipping alternatives. Orders will take longer to receive, so it pays to plan ahead. 

But the reality is that in the locations we are not yet able to serve, enormous obstacles have been erected and there are additional taxes due to the Jenkins Act as well. 

Passage of PACT Act

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, also known as the Covid Relief Act, was omnibus bill that included a lot more than just pandemic relief.

It provided cover for the passage of the PACT Act under the cover night. New Jersey's vape laws similarly passed when Covid-19 legislation dominated the headlines in the spring of 2020. 

If you are a vaper and wonder how politicians can blithely strip you of your freedoms and at the same time put thousands of Americans out of work, consider this reality: the wealthy quit smoking decades ago.

The people deciding the future of vaping have almost no knowledge on the subject. In fact, they seem to have been deliberately misinformed by anti-vaping lobbyists.

They remain wed to the theory that the flavored e-liquids adult vapers prefer are designed to lure children. The CDC found flavors are not one of top three reasons kids vape. And nostalgic flavors recalling Reagan-era sugar coated breakfast cereals and candies have no cultural cache with someone born after 2000.

Why Kids Vape

The vast majority of adult vapers prefer fruit and beverage flavored e-liquids. The most popular vaping product with minors was the blandly packaged and mild notes of the salt nic Juul Mint. The sales of max-VG Unicorn Milk isn’t even a rounding error in comparison.

Why does the PACT Act targets the preferred sales channels of the adult customizers who buy from independent. vaping companies and give the tobacco companies that dominate convenient store shelf space an even greater advantage?

To politicians, vaping is a disreputable and alien activity to them. Unlike alcohol, which remains popular in the highest socioeconomic brackets and kills 3500 minors annually. The CDC reports that an average of 130,000 underage drinkers end up in the emergency room each year.

Marginalized Vapes

There are remote areas in the US that are not covered by regional carriers. USPS is the only option for these zip codes. Even carriers like FedEx cannot access PO boxes on rural routes. Areas with low population density are also unlikely to generate sufficient sales volume to support a vape shop.

We foresee reaching well over half of the US, largely barred from increasing this number further by inhospitable states.

Underserved rural communities historically have higher rates of smoking and lung cancer deaths than urban areas, the most remote of these areas will be difficult to serve but we are exploring every option.

CBD and the PACT Act

The ban on mailing vaping products through the US postal service delivery system has been known for nearly a year but enforcement only started this October.

Whatever their intended goal, the federal law also swept up the much more politically powerful hemp and cannabis industries as well. Due to investments in hemp and a generally distaste for the war on drugs, hemp products seem to be held in higher regard than nicotine by politicians. How long this remains the case remains to be seen.

The onerous state level tax regulations related to the Jenkins Act are not uniformly applied upon nicotine and cannabis, but the actual ban on vaping products applies to both industries. 

With United States Postal Service delivery services no longer available to online vape stores, Congress has prevented online sales to legal age vapers who are seeking smoke and ash free combustible cigarette alternatives.

Regional Carriers

During the ten months between the passage of the PACT Act and the USPS implementing the final rule, Kure has been hard at work developing a network of regional carriers to meet the needs of their customers. These specialty delivery services will eventually cover much of the country, but many zip codes will not be able to receive shipments.

It is likely that the bill will have unintended consequences. Adult consumers who had switched to nicotine e-liquids now may only have cigarettes as an option. We are working hard to expand our private delivery network and look forward to serving you again.


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