At the end of 2020, Congress enacted legislation that would put the health of millions of adults, particularly those living in rural communities, in jeopardy.
The measure — passed without debate and stuffed into the massive omnibus spending package — imposes a government ban on the adult purchase of reduced-risk tobacco alternatives through the mail. This will push many adults back to smoking deadly combustible cigarettes.
While many in urban and suburban areas have access to specialized stores stocking reduced risk tobacco alternatives, this is not a practical option in rural America. These Americans have the highest smoking rates in the country and large numbers are veterans who previously placed their lives on the line for this country. Now they will be banned from purchasing through the mail life-saving alternatives to tobacco such as personal vaporizers which have been proven to be 95% safer than combustible cigarettes.
Although this legislation only specifically forbids the USPS from deliveries, it included the imposition of severe regulations and extravagant fees now required for all shipments. As a result, FedEx and UPS announced they will end home delivery of vaping products, leaving no recourse for rural smokers wanting to quit to purchase these products legally. FedEx will end vapor shipments on March 1 and UPS will do so on April 5.
Sadly while Americans in rural areas will suffer, cigarette manufacturers will benefit as adults revert to their previous smoking habit.
Karl Abramson – Americans for Tax Reform – February 17th, 2021.