It’s a tough time to be a vaper. New restrictions at the federal and state levels will make it more difficult to buy and sell vaporization products, with and without nicotine, as FDA efforts continue to repress illegal vaporization distributors.
Shipping is not easy
In late 2020, Congress passed new restrictions on how the USPS can ship tobacco products; now the extended law includes vaporization products. The Cigarette Trafficking Prevention Act (PACT), signed into law in 2009, basically said that the U.S. Post Office could not deliver any tobacco product directly to the consumer.
In the 2020 bill, Congress amended the act, expanding the law to include any “electronic nicotine delivery system”, defined as “any electronic device that, by means of an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor or any other substance to the user who inhales the device”. FDA-approved therapeutic and cessation tools are exempt as long as they are marketed only to leave them.
Private shipping companies FedEx and UPS have since adopted similar restrictions. FedEx will not accept any shipment of tobacco-related products. This even applies to stores, regardless of license or authorization.
UPS set up new policies on April 5, banning the delivery of tobacco-related products. Its policy on the list is more specific than that of FedEx, as it states that vaporization products do not need to contain tobacco or nicotine to be affected by the ban. It also specifies that it will not import or export these products.
Violating the law entails civil and criminal sanctions. The law was amended in 2010, among other reasons, because tobacco suppliers and customers used the Internet to make their transactions, bypassing federal laws for document registration and tax collection. The electronic cigarette and the American vaporizer market was valued at $ 6.09 million last year.
FDA actions continue
The Trump administration’s transition to the Biden administration has not stopped the FDA’s ongoing crackdown on vape stores and e-cigarette distributors. So far this year, there have been dozens of vaporizer manufacturers and distributors received warning letters from the Tobacco Products Center. Many of the companies that have received letters are FDA registered manufacturers, some with thousands of other products that to own meets the requirements.
The FDA regulates tobacco products under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and the Tobacco control law of 2009. It defines tobacco products as “any product manufactured or derived from tobacco and intended for human consumption, including any component, part or accessory of a tobacco product”. This means that both vaporization devices and liquids are classified as tobacco products. Warnings are primarily to add an unknown ingredient and not represent what the product contains or can do with veracity. In the language of the FDA: adulterated and poorly marked.
A la Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the products are “adulterated” because they have not been granted FDA authorization for production and sale, and have “incorrect mark” because they do not bear mandatory notice with information on manufacturing and content.
A mix of local rules
At the state and local level, change is also moving, in multiple directions. Prospective
steamers and distributors will need to monitor new developments closely.
According to local reports, Florida is moving to climb the age to smoke and vaporize up to 21 years and to regulate vaporization products separately from fuels. Tennessee is also raising age a 21, while Suffolk County, New York, considers an even larger increase a 25.
Prohibitions of flavoring are prohibited Indiana and as part of a larger list of restrictions on Connecticut, while a ban on indoor vaporization was recently passed Nebraska. South Carolina is introducing legislation to remove regulatory power from municipalities and countries concentrate it at the state level.
Take her home
The FDA offers nothing new in terms of vapor safety information, but its regulations underscore something all consumers should remember: beware of trusted sources and take the time to make sure that you know what you are buying. Especially in evolving markets, it is important to pay attention to these gray areas.
Sean Marsala is a Philadelphia-based health writer, Pa. Passionate about technology, he often finds himself reading, surfing the Internet and exploring virtual worlds.