Whether you've been carefully tracking the USPS Vape Mail Ban over the last several months, or have just encountered this term for the first time, it's no secret that The Postal Service's ruling has raised a number of questions for those in the vaping community. While we will no longer be able to offer USPS as a direct consequence of these rulings, we believe that it is important to take the opportunity to explain what this means for you and for the Electric Tobacconist.
So, first and foremost—What is the "USPS Vape Mail Ban"?
Last spring, you might have seen in the news that the "vape mail" restriction was passed as part of the COVID relief spending bill. This new law, commonly referred to as the “PACT Act,” stipulated that vaping products would essentially be classified under the same laws that apply to combustible cigarettes.
Originally, USPS was expected to make an announcement about this ruling no later than April, 27th, 2021; however, this deadline was then postponed. Recently, The Postal Service announced that the Vape Mail Ban will officially take effect on Thursday, October 21st, 2021.
The deadline has passed—What if I still need to place an order with USPS shipping?
Unfortunately, USPS will no longer be available to select in checkout as of Thursday, October 21st, 2021 for all of customers. Because the USPS shutoff deadline is set to take effect at precisely 12:01AM on Thursday, and our last round of orders will be dispatched at 2PM MST on Wednesday (prior to the deadline), we are unable to ship any orders with USPS shipping that were placed after 2PM MST on Wednesday, October 20th, 2021. We apologize for this inconvenience. Please keep in mind that this ruling was at The Postal Service's discretion, rather than the Electric Tobacconist's, and that we are complying with the agency's ruling.
My orders have always shipped with USPS—Does this mean that you won't be able to ship to me anymore?
The short answer is: not necessarily. If you'd like to see whether you're still covered, we suggest using our Zip Code Checker to receive an immediate response about the shipping status of your location.
What is the Zip Code Checker—And why are you asking me to use it?
Even if you've already used our Zip Code Checker, we highly recommend that you revisit the Zip Code Checker, as it offers a quick and easy way to view the most updated information that we have for your location's shipping status.
I understand the Zip Code Checker—But what do these different responses mean?
When you enter your zip code into the Zip Code Checker, you will receive one of the following status updates:
Your location is covered by one or more of our couriers.
Shipping services are currently unavailable for your location.
Receiving a “your location is covered” message indicates that shipping options are available from our Standard Regional Carrier. Receiving a “shipping services are currently unavailable for your location” message indicates that your location is not currently eligible for shipping services from our Standard Regional Carrier. Please visit our Shipping Information page to learn more about our shipping options, rates, and policies.
The Zip Code Checker stated that 'shipping services are unavailable' for my location—Now what do I do?
Our shipping coverage has been rapidly evolving. Consequently, if shipping is currently unavailable for your location, this does not guarantee that shipping will become permanently unavailable for your location. For this reason, we highly recommend using our Zip Code Checker to sign up for shipping notifications so you can be the first to know when your eligibility changes.
We are continuously looking for ways to improve our shipping experience for all customers. Despite the current challenges facing the industry, we fully intend to expand our shipping coverage to include as many additional zip codes as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and will do our best to communicate these expansions along with other shipping updates as more information becomes available.
What is this “Standard Regional Carrier”—And why are you using SRC instead of USPS?
As you may know, the USPS Vape Mail Ban officially took effect and was implemented by our site as of Wednesday, October, 20th, 2021. In response to this ruling, we have elected to offer an additional carrier in checkout so that we may continue to serve as many of our customers as possible.
You may have already seen our new, alternative carrier under the name “Standard Regional Carrier,” or “SRC” for short, either in checkout or on our Shipping Information page.
I would prefer to ship my order with USPS—Do I have to use SRC as my carrier?
Unfortunately, due to the USPS Vape Mail Ban, we are unable to offer USPS shipping to any of our customers. If we are able to offer shipping services to your location, the carrier that covers your zip code will be automatically selected in checkout and applied to your order.
But what if I have a super special reason for wanting to order with USPS—Can you make an exception?
No, unfortunately, this ruling applies to all vape mail orders. Because the USPS Vape Mail Ban was enacted by the USPS, rather than Electric Tobacconist, we are unable to control the dismissal of shipping services for all vape mail orders.
I placed an order with Standard Regional Shipping (SRC)—Why haven’t I received a confirmation email or tracking number?
If you’ve recently placed an order on our site that will be shipped with our Standard Regional Carrier, there is a chance that you may not have yet received a confirmation email or tracking number for your order. As we continue to perfect our integration with SRC, you might expect slightly longer transit times (est. 7-14 days) and delays in tracking information and updates.
We are striving to deliver orders within 5-7 business days of being placed and expect that our current transit times will be reduced in the near future. In the coming weeks, we will be working with our Standard Regional Carrier to improve the new delivery network and our transit times and transit updates. We apologize for the inconvenience and are working to get your confirmation email and tracking information to you as soon as possible. Please reach out to our Help Desk with any additional questions you might have about your order.
Well, I’ve heard that other companies are still shipping with USPS—If what you’re saying is true, how is that possible?
At Electric Tobacconist, we pride ourselves in the level of diligence that we put into making our site compliant to the fullest extent that the law dictates. While we can’t control the actions of our competitors, what we can do is to assure you that this ruling applies to the entire vaping industry, rather than solely Electric Tobacconist.
Any retailer that is currently shipping vape products by mail to their consumers is doing so illegally in direct violation of the PACT Act. For more information about the USPS Vape Mail Ban, we recommend visiting this educational resource by CASAA (Consumer Advocates for Smoke-Free Alternatives Association).
I'm still confused—Can someone please help me?
If you still have questions that you'd like answered about these topics or any other, please submit a ticket to our HelpDesk and one of our customer care representatives would be happy to assist you.
I'm not confused, but I am annoyed—What can I do with all of this excess rage?
We understand that this is a difficult time for the vaping community, including our customers, staff, competitors, and friends. While these industry-wide changes are largely out of our control, there are some things that we can still do about it, including: