Congress extends ban on mailing cigs to include all e-cigs, including marijuana vapes

The recent legislation Congress passed to fund the government included a provision extending the PACT Act’s prohibition on sending cigarettes through the mail to include e-cigarettes. This will go a long way to closing down internet e-cigarette sales which, despite assurances from the e-cig companies and FDA, cannot be effectively age-gated.

The law also requires FedEx, UPS and other delivery services to verifying age of the recipient in person and getting a signature before delivering e-cigarettes. The delivery companies entered into an agreement with the state attorneys general to sup delivering cigarettes. Hopefully the AGs will pursue a similar agreement on e-cigs and other tobacco products. Alternatively, it may be that the delivery companies just decide that it is too much trouble to do the age verification and get the signature and just stop delivering e-cigs and other new tobacco products. A little pressure from the AGs might lead to a similar agreement as for cigarettes since the delivery companies probably won’t want to bother with the age and signature verification given all their other new business because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The law describes e-cigarettes very broadly, as any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device [emphasis added],” which includes marijuana e-cigarettes. The marijuana industry is unhappy about this, but it is good public health policy for the same reason as shutting down internet sales of tobacco products.

Marijuana interests will probably be lobbying Congress to remove this language. Health interests should make sure it stays.

Published by Stanton Glantz

Stanton Glantz is a retired Professor of Medicine who served on the University of California San Francisco faculty for 45 years. He conducts research on tobacco and cannabis control and cardiovascular disease/

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