CASAA, a consumer advocacy group focused on ensuring availability of reduced harm alternatives to smoking, has put out a call to action for all vapers.
CASAA has learned that House Democrats are pushing for S.1253 (Vape Mail Ban) to be included in this year’s must-pass budget bill. Now is the time to call and write your representative in congress and urge them to oppose this effort.
This bill would prohibit the U.S. Postal Service from accepting packages of vapor products for delivery. While this is not an all-out ban on online sales, it would raise the cost of purchasing vapor products for people who depend on being able to have safer alternatives delivered to their door by requiring signature on delivery.
What happens to online purchases?
Banning USPS from shipping vapor products will force companies to use private carriers like FedEx and UPS. In addition to these carriers being more expensive than USPS, they also do not deliver mail to all Americans. Private carriers routinely outsource deliveries to rural areas or neighborhoods they deem “dangerous” to USPS in order to cut costs. Removing USPS as an option means that some people will have no way of purchasing vapor products. For everyone else, it means they will pay higher prices and they’ll be forced to break social distancing rules because a signature will be required on delivery. Additionally, private carriers could eventually cave to political pressures and also ban the shipment of vapor products.
Can’t we just purchase in stores instead?
Not all consumers of vapor products have access to brick and mortar stores due to their health, disabilities, or even their location. And with PMTA enforcement around the corner, the selection of products deemed legal by the government will be so small that many stores won’t be able to survive.
Meanwhile, cigarettes will remain the most visible and widely accessible tobacco product in the history of the world.
Why are they doing this?
The supporters of this bill argue that preventing the shipment of vapor products will prevent teens from getting their hands on it, and reduce youth usage. What they don’t tell you is that less than 6% of youth report buying vapor products online, according to the CDC’s 2018 National Youth Tobacco Survey. Most young people report getting vapor products and other age-restricted products from friends, family, and informal sources–sources that are about to become much more popular after September.
What You Need To Do ASAP
Believe it or not, contacting your representatives actually does make a difference.
Each person that contacts them, represents more than one person in their statistics, so get your friends and family members to call as well. It only takes a few minutes and could keep vape mail legal.
The fight never ends. Every vaper needs to stay involved and get others involved as well.
The call to action from CASAA has a form that will help you contact your representative in Congress as painlessly as possibly.
It even has a little bullet point list to help you stay on target.
If you don't want to use the CASAA helper, here is the House.gov contact page that you can use to find your Congressman's phone number.
Here is the CASAA bullet points:
- Urge your representative to oppose a ban on mailing vapor products to adult consumers in the 2021 budget bill.
- Share your story about switching to vaping from smoking (and note any health changes that you've experienced).
- Remind them to keep the ban on vape mail out of the budget bill; and,
- Thank them for listening to your comments.