If you didn’t believe the USA is opposed to vaping, you will now after seeing the most recent changes. Passed by Trump as law in late December 2020, one of his final significant acts as President before his departure massively impacted the vaping industry, at least in the US. With his signature on the Omnibus Bill, containing 5,000 plus pages of different legislation changes, one significantly changes vaping in the US. Buried within a host of law amendments passed through congress despite outcries from the vaping community, the US Postal service will stop delivering vaping products to US customers. Also, they will not accept any shipping from foreign vaping countries.
This is just one in a string of sweeping changes that will no doubt boost the tobacco industry further. Considering vaping is used predominantly as a preventative tool to stop smokers puffing on cigarettes, the initial reaction shows the shock at this latest announcement. With further legislation in place to stop vaping in its tracks, how will this affect the vaping industry? Will consumers need to find alternative ways to get their favourite vaping products? Or simply switch back to smoking?
Vaping Industry Stumped
There are two sides to every debate and the struggle between vaping and smoking only continues into 2021. On one side you have the US government doing everything in their power to stop vaping, in particular among the youth of today. Understandably, they want to do this, but will it not just mean curious teenagers turning to cigarettes instead? In a press statement in 2020, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro claims it’s needed to prevent underage vaping, claiming:
“The inclusion of these critical protections against the online sale of e-cigarettes to children will prevent countless illnesses and save lives.”
Essentially, it means more steps are in place to protect young people from buying vaping products illegally underage. Age verification will be needed, which is a good thing. But on the other side, you have the tobacco industry booming even more during the Coronavirus pandemic. As we know, tobacco kills roughly eight million a year and that will not slow down unless useful Nicotine Replacement Therapies (NRT) are set up to help smokers quit. Vaping is one of those tools, which is backed up by organisations such as Public Health England and the NHS in the UK. With the passing of the Omnibus Bill, several measures are in place to stop the widespread use of vaping. Because the USPS will ban the shipment of vaping products and refuse to do deliveries, in addition to FedEx, meaning vapers need to find alternative methods.
Can Vapers Find a Way Around the USPS Ban?
With 600,000 employees under their belts, that’s a lot of USPS vans that will no longer deliver vaping products in the USA. Who will replace that demand? With FedEx also following the same ruling, it’s up to specific couriers to agree to deliver those products. And considering some do not deliver to remote locations, many vapers will need to find another way. But in the middle of a pandemic where we have seen 500,000 sadly die from the Coronavirus in the US alone, that’s putting more people’s lives at risk. Vaping is seen as a wiser alternative to smoking for a reason. It contains no lethal chemicals. If people continue to smoke, they increase their chances of catching the Coronavirus (which is a lung-related respiratory illness). But with the addition of nicotine that exists in tobacco cigarettes and e-cigarettes, many will need to feed that addiction in some form. If they can not get vaping products delivered, they could potentially switch back to smoking cigarettes.
Since the introduction of vaping in 2003, the industry has continued to innovate. New vape mods, different technical features, varying e-liquids and even Nicotine Salts now. The Omnibus Bill makes getting vaping products more difficult for adults in the US. But it certainly doesn’t stop it entirely. Vaping businesses in the US require following even more protocol and UK vaping businesses may never ship products to customers in the future. What we do know is inhaling e-liquids is much safer than inhaling cigarettes. Vapers and businesses will just need to think outside of the box to continue the positive trend that helps smokers quit and reduce their nicotine.