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house Bill H.R. 3942

Should Online E-Cigarette & Vapor Products Require In-Person Age Verification at Delivery?

Argument in favor

This commonsense legislation would make e-cigarettes subject to the same online sale regulations and tax obligations as traditional cigarettes. Regardless of your position on vaping, this makes sense as a policy to keep vaping products out of the hands of minors who aren’t supposed to have them. This policy would still allow adults to purchase e-cigarettes and vapor products online while simultaneously making it more difficult for minors to obtain these products online.

burrkitty's Opinion
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10/28/2019
For all nicotine drug addicts no matter the delivery system.
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Ken's Opinion
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10/28/2019
Maybe change the delivery requirement from e-tobacco products to all tobacco and nicotine products including e-tobacco products? That way you don’t leave a hole someone could exploit, should some other nicotine delivery system be discovered in the future.
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Daniel's Opinion
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10/28/2019
It should be handled as you would any cigarettes or liquor, you should have to confirm your age when buying and at the door and if they do not match then the package is turned over to the police too verify.
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Argument opposed

Requiring ID at delivery will make it more difficult to buy e-cigarettes online regardless of the purchaser’s age. Many people rely on online shopping to get products delivered to their homes while they aren’t home; under this bill, this would no longer be possible in the case of e-cigarettes and vapor products, as someone would have to be home to present ID. This would be a major barrier to purchase, and could limit even adult users’ access to e-cigarettes and vapor products.

Azrael's Opinion
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10/28/2019
Delivery people are not the age police They’re in danger in some neighborhoods Personal responsibility Where are parents?
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Lukas's Opinion
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10/28/2019
This won’t stop kids from buying these products. They are buying them from local stores that don’t card them or just don’t care about the laws. Online stores require age verifications and that’s brought already.
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Chris's Opinion
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10/28/2019
Sales of such products require proof of age to buy. The teens are not buying internet products that cost lots of money, they are buying the cheap junk at gas stations. This would be another regulation requiring more government employees at more money to us. Stop spending money.
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What is House Bill H.R. 3942?

This bill — the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act — would require in-person age verification upon delivery of online purchase of e-cigarettes and vapor products, and for an adult with ID to be present for delivery. It would also label e-cigarette and vapor products’ shipping packages to show that they contain tobacco products. Finally, it would require e-cigarette online retailers to comply with all state and local tobacco tax requirements.

Impact

Underage e-cigarette vapor product purchasers; adult e-cigarette vapor product purchasers; ID requirements for e-cigarette vapor product purchasers; delivery personnel; e-cigarette and vapor product companies; and tax obligations of e-cigarette and vapor product companies.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 3942

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Rosa DeLaura (D-CT) introduced this bill to require in-person age verification upon delivery of online purchases of e-cigarette and vapor products and thereby help prevent online sales of these products to children: 

“We are in the midst of a youth vaping epidemic. Today, 1 in 5 high school students use e-cigarettes. We need to use every tool possible to prevent even more kids from starting to smoke. Yet a loophole under current law exempts online e-cigarette retailers from federal requirements to verify the age of their customers. Combined with industry’s deceptive and reckless marketing tactics, kids are easily able to obtain these products online. This is unacceptable, and it is putting our youngsters’ health at risk. That is why we need to pass the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act to close this loophole and keep our children safe from the vaping epidemic.”

Original cosponsor Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) adds

“Minors can’t buy e-cigarettes in a store and they shouldn’t be able to buy them online either. This bill requires that an adult sign for a delivery of e-cigarettes, treating them the same as all other nicotine products.”

Senate sponsor Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) says:

“Buying e-cigarettes online is one of the easiest ways for children and teens to get their hands on these harmful products. E-cigarette use by middle and high school students is rising at an alarming rate, posing serious risks to their brain development and leading to addiction at an early age. Our bill would help curb that trend by treating e-cigarettes the same as regular cigarettes, making it much harder for minors to purchase them online.”

Lead Republican Senate cosponsor Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) adds

“There was a dramatic increase in electronic cigarette use among high school students last year, with a substantial amount of teens purchasing this product online. We shouldn’t treat the potential online purchase of e-cigarettes by children any differently than we do other tobacco products. Our bill applies the same safeguards that exist for regular cigarettes and smokeless tobacco to online sales of e-cigarettes in an effort to stem the tide of underage smoking.”

The National Association of Convenience Store (NACS) supports this bill. Director of Government Relations Anna Ready, says NACS supports this bill as “commonsense legislation”: 

“Before you receive the product in a convenience store, you have to show an ID. An adult has to prove that they’re the one purchasing, and the same should be true for when it’s delivered at his doorstep, before receiving the product…  [T]ruthfully, it really ensures that responsible retailing is happening across all channels… It requires online sellers of e-cigarettes to ensure that the delivery carrier checks the ID at time of delivery. And then it also ensures that the appropriate taxes are collected and remitted, which is what the 2009 law did for cigarettes… NACS commends members of Congress who support legislation in the House and Senate to prevent minors from purchasing e-cigarettes online and from intercepting an at-home delivery.”

In fall 2018, one of NACS’ policy proposals shared with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) was for Congress to update current law under the 2009 Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking (PACT) Act to require purchaser age verification upon delivery of e-cigarette products. Currently, the PACT Act only applies to online cigarette sales, as e-cigarettes didn’t exist a decade ago. 

Some adults who turn to vaping to help quit smoking (e-cigarettes haven’t been reviewed or approved by the FDA for this purpose, but are nonetheless used by some for this purpose) have expressed displeasure about the outcry over e-cigarettes. They believe it’s unfounded or that it’s part of government interference in a legal activity, and have started using the hashtag #WeVapeWeVote to amplify their voice and express displease about government restrictions on e-cigarettes.

In October 16 testimony before the House Appropriations Committee, Dr. Sally Satel, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, urged committee members to preserve possible benefits for adult smokers in e-cigarette legislation: 

“We must not allow the intense focus on teen use — warranted though it is — to divert almost all attention from the benefits of vaping for adult smokers who are dying at the rate of 480,000 per year from a terrible habit.”

This legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee by voice vote with the support of 32 bipartisan House cosponsors, including 16 Democrats and 16 Republicans. Its Senate companion, sponsored by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), has 22 bipartisan Senate cosponsors, including 12 Democrats and 10 Republicans.

A broad coalition of health organizations, physicians advocacy groups, and marketing associations supports this bill. It includes the  American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, Asian & Pacific Islander American Health Forum, California Physicians Alliance, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Children's Health Fund, Go2Foundation for Lung Cancer, National Alliance for Hispanic Health, National Association of Convenience Stores, Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, National Association of Truck Stop Operators, Petroleum Marketers Association of America, and Convenience Distribution Association.


Of NoteAn August 2018 study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion found the internet is the most common retail source for minors buying e-cigarettes. Over 32% of minors who bought e-cigarettes through retail sales reported that they acquired the products online.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / llcsiren)

AKA

Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act

Official Title

To apply requirements relating to delivery sales of cigarettes to delivery sales of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and for other purposes.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
    IntroducedJuly 24th, 2019
    For all nicotine drug addicts no matter the delivery system.
    Like (24)
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    Cigarettes should be targeted first.
    Like (9)
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    Maybe change the delivery requirement from e-tobacco products to all tobacco and nicotine products including e-tobacco products? That way you don’t leave a hole someone could exploit, should some other nicotine delivery system be discovered in the future.
    Like (10)
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    It should be handled as you would any cigarettes or liquor, you should have to confirm your age when buying and at the door and if they do not match then the package is turned over to the police too verify.
    Like (10)
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    Delivery people are not the age police They’re in danger in some neighborhoods Personal responsibility Where are parents?
    Like (6)
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    Again, we are discussing nicotine items for sale to minors... we already have laws that control nicotine sales. Refer to these existing laws!
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    Yes, we must protect our youth from vaping products.
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    I think if you want these products, then you have to show verification to get them. This is not a product that needs to be delivered or bought online, since it can have health consequences. I have no sympathy for those who want to avoid purchasing in person.
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    If implemented properly this is a great idea as a 48yrs old and a vaper if I order online and delivery demands I'D and I'm not home it will be held at post office and I can show I'D there, as it may inconvenience some it's a fair deterant to kids but understand if a kid wants anything that there not allowed some will get it no matter what
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    This won’t stop kids from buying these products. They are buying them from local stores that don’t card them or just don’t care about the laws. Online stores require age verifications and that’s brought already.
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    Of course it should be required! I sure enjoy reading comments from conservatives who say the law won’t be followed anyway. By that “logic,” we shouldn’t bother with laws against rape or murder either! 😂
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    Stop the attack on the vaping industry. Vaping is saving lives.
    Like (3)
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    Sales of such products require proof of age to buy. The teens are not buying internet products that cost lots of money, they are buying the cheap junk at gas stations. This would be another regulation requiring more government employees at more money to us. Stop spending money.
    Like (3)
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    Minors who wish to obtain these products are going to do so, regardless of laws prohibiting their purchase by minors. I smoked at age 17 and had no trouble obtaining cigarettes from vending machines and some retail outlets.
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    Stop whining already you underage losers. Age verification is mandatory for drug consumption in this country, this just adds e-cigs, which carry another level of danger (ionized molecular free radicals).
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    Obviously!
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    Vape products have caused so much damage to everyone who uses them, but especially youth who grow into nicotine addictions and weak lungs at aged of 17, 16, and even 15. Requiring age verification isn’t going to stop all youth from having vapes, because some will still get it from adults. However, it will definitely discourage it. And we need to do everything we can to stop smoking and vaping.
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    I have to show my ID & sign my name at the pharmacy counter every time I have a sinus infection & need Advil Cold & Sinus. I cannot buy this online. Tobacco products kill! Either slowly, as my father did, or now with the new and improved e-cigarettes, more quickly. I don’t understand why we continue to sell them at all, much less online. However, since they are allowed to be sold, let them be sold to adults who can prove they are 21 or older.
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    Knee jerk reactionary legislation. This isn’t required for other harmful items, why propose this. Oh yeah, headlines....
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    Minors should not be allowed to use any product containing nicotine. I’ve been addicted to it since I was 14 years old.
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