Call to action: Congress set to vote on bill to ban vapes-by-mail
At literally any minute now, the U.S. House of Representatives is slated to vote on a bipartisan bill passed in the Senate on July 2 which will ban the delivery of vaping products through the U.S. Post Office. S-153, also called the “Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act,” will not forbid the delivery of vapor products through private companies like UPS, FedEx, and DHL. However, should the new legislation gain House approval and be signed into law by President Trump, the shipping fees attached to online purchases of both e-liquids and hardware will increase substantially as e-commerce vendors will be forced to adhere to the new guidelines.
In addition to the revised delivery protocols, purchasers of vapor products will also be required to sign for their packages in-person upon delivery. They will also be required to show a photo identification proving their legal age.
While the bill provides the legal loophole that allows private delivery companies like UPS to ship these products, there is no guarantee that they will do so. These companies can legally “change their mind” at any point moving forward. They may even become targets of the current “cancel culture” of social media and bow to public pressure to refuse delivery.
What is the anti-vaping bill S- 153?
S-153 has been making its way through congress for several months. In fact, a similarly-worded bill passed the House last year. But after it was sent to the Senate for approval, the republicans made a few tweaks to the original verbiage crafted by the House democrats. These modifications now require that the bill be re-approved by the House, which is likely to occur literally any day now.
The bill is the devious offspring of the “vaping related” lung scare of 2016. Even though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would eventually rule that conventional nicotine-based vapes had nothing whatsoever to do with the mysterious respiratory disorder nicknamed EVALI (the acronym that stands for e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury), the preceding months of negative press had wrongly solidified public opinion that vaping is just as deadly as smoking.
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Of course, this is completely untrue. The premier federal agency of the United Kingdom – Public Health England (PHE) – published research as far back as 2016 which indicates that vaping is approximately 95 percent less harmful than smoking. Since then, hundreds of peer-reviewed research papers have been published supporting the PHE claims.
However, by marketing S-153 as a bill designed to prevent teen vaping, lawmakers on Capitol Hill from both sides of the political aisle are now hoping to curry favor with their constituents right before the 2020 Election in November. With President Trump alleged to be down in the polls currently, this may be why the usually vape-friendly republicans are seemingly throwing the vaping community under the bus. Not all of them, of course, but just enough to get the bill passed in the Senate.
Will President Trump sign the bill?
There are signs appearing on the political horizon that President Trump may choose to either veto the bill outright or perhaps not sign it at all. If he doesn’t sign the bill before the November election, then both houses of congress would be legally required to start all over again.
In late 2019, Trump, too, was pressured by the mainstream media and anti-vapers to ban the sales of all flavored vaping products nationwide. Fortunately, the president was smart enough to convene a White House committee meeting on the matter before making his final decision. In attendance were members of the vaping advocacy community like Greg Conley, President of the American Vaping Association, representatives of vapor companies including JUUL, executives of Big Tobacco companies, as well as physicians, pediatricians, and other medical specialists.
After a long and healthy debate, President Trump made his decision. Instead of banning all flavored vapor products, Trump decided to ban only flavored disposable products like JUUL and VUSE. Separately bottled e-liquids and open-tank hardware would remain unscathed.
His reasoning? According to Mr. Trump, his greatest fear with an all-out ban was the almost certain rise in Black Market vapor products that was sure to follow. And according to the CDC, it was black market THC-enhanced vapor cartridges that were responsible for the EVALI outbreak of 2019. During the extended White House conference that was at least partially broadcast in real time by ABC News Live, Mr. Trump made the following statement.
“The one thing I see though, you watch prohibition, you look at, with the alcohol, you look at cigarettes, if you don’t give it to them, it’s going to come here illegally. Okay. They’re going to make it. But instead of Reynolds or Juul or legitimate companies, good companies, making something that’s safe, they’re going to be selling stuff on the street corner that could be horrible. That’s the one problem I can’t seem to forget. I’ve seen it. You just have to look at the history of it. And now, instead of having a flavor that’s at least safe, they’re going to be having a flavor that’s poison. That’s a big problem.”
Will President Trump sign S-153 should the House also vote to approve it as did the Senate? Maybe. Maybe not. Trump might feel as if he’s already addressed this issue. He is also very aware that a significant percentage of his voter base is comprised of American vapers. With the election only months away, will he really want to infuriate his vaping constituents?
NOW is the time to contact President Trump and your congressional representatives!
Vaping is yet again under attack, and this time from both republicans and democrats. Congressional representatives from both parties must be re-elected every two years. ALL OF THEM! And many of them are desperate to hold on to their political power.
Now is the time to contact both President Trump and your elected officials in the House of Representatives. The vaping advocacy group Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association (CASAA) has been kind enough to create an easy-to-use digital letter writing webpage to contact each of your representatives. CLICK HERE. Be sure to provide some personal stories illustrating how switching to vaping has saved your life and helped you to quit smoking once and for all.
To contact President Trump, there are any number of ways. There’s the White House switchboard (202-456-1414). You can contact his office directly and leave a personal comment via voice mail (202-456-1111). You can email him personally at the White House (email@example.com). And then, of course, there’s Twitter (@realdonaldtrump).
Won’t you please help save vaping? Contacting your congressional representatives along with President Trump should only take a few moments of your time. But please do not delay. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. #WeVapeWeVote.
Related Article: In case you missed it: Senate votes to ban online vape sales
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