Bill Regulating Online Sales of E-Cigarettes Advances to House Floor

NACS supports legislation to require an in-person ID check of online orders.

October 17, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—The House Judiciary Committee Wednesday voted unanimously by voice to advance H.R. 3942, the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, to the full House of Representatives for consideration. NACS supports the legislation which seeks to close the online loophole of e-cigarette sales to minors by applying the same measures already in place for cigarettes sold over the internet.

According to a study published in 2018 by the American Journal of Health Promotion, the internet is the most common retail source of e-cigarettes to minors. The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act seeks to address this by requiring online merchants to ensure the delivery carrier verifies the recipient is of legal age by conducting an ID check upon delivery. Additionally, it would require online merchants collect and remit the appropriate state and local taxes.

These requirements are already the law for cigarettes sold over the internet because of a 2009 law that Congress passed in an effort to reduce illicit sales and underage sales at the time. Since e-cigarettes were not prevalent at that time, they were not included in the 2009 law. However, a decade later, Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) introduced the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act to update the law to include e-cigarettes and close the online loophole of access to minors. The legislation touts a list of bipartisan cosponsors, including the Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee Representative Doug Collins (R-GA).  

During the House Judiciary Committee markup of the legislation, both Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) and Ranking Member Doug Collins (R-GA) spoke in favor of the legislation, as well as a slate of members on both sides of the aisle.

“As the number of children and teenagers using e-cigarettes increases, I’m very concerned about the accessibility of these products online. By requiring in-person age verification upon delivery of online purchases of e-cigarettes products, the bill will help curb and address the purchase and use of e-cigarettes by minors,” stated Representative Lou Correa (D-CA).

“In 2010, Congress passed the PACT Act to address the concerns about the internet sales of cigarettes. The PACT Act required internet sellers of cigarettes to verify the age of the purchaser upon delivery, and it required internet cigarette retailers to collect and remit state and local taxes. It only makes sense that we apply the same rules to e-cigarettes. We can significantly cut down on youth access and address illicit online sales without affecting law-abiding adults who use these products,” stated Representative Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA).

With the bill clearing the House Judiciary Committee, the legislation now advances to the House floor for consideration. The Senate version of the bill, S. 1253, was introduced by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and is awaiting consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

NACS strongly supports the legislation and asks you to click here to ask your legislators to cosponsor and support the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act.

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