ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, H.R. 3942, by voice vote. The legislation seeks to prevent minors from accessing e-cigarettes through the internet, the most common retail source to minors.
Introduced by Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act would prevent minors from purchasing and receiving e-cigarettes via the internet. Their bill updates a 2010 law regulating the online sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products and applies those requirements to e-cigarettes.
“If minors can't buy e-cigarettes in a store, they shouldn't be able to buy them online,” Rep. Armstrong said during a speech on the House floor.
The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act would require online merchants to ensure the delivery carrier verifies the age of the recipient upon delivery and would require online merchants to collect and remit the appropriate state and local taxes.
“The convenience store industry strongly supports this commonsense legislation that would close the internet loophole of minors acquiring e-cigarettes,” said Anna Ready Blom, NACS director of government relations. “According to a study published by the American Journal of Health Promotion, the most common retail source of e-cigarettes to minors is the internet, with more than 32% of minors who bought e-cigarettes at retail reported to have acquired the products online.”
As reported in NACS Daily, two weeks ago, the House Judiciary Committee considered and passed the legislation without objection by voice vote, which advanced the legislation to the House floor for consideration.
During the markup, Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) spoke in favor of the bill stating, “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 cigarettes 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.”
With the bill passing the House, it is now the Senate’s turn to consider the legislation. The Senate version of the bill, S. 1253, was introduced this spring by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), John Cornyn (R-TX) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).
NACS is asking members of the convenience store industry to click here to ask your senators to cosponsor and support the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act.