Vape Bans

Prohibited States for Online Vape Shipping

The vaping industry has seen significant growth over the past few years. However, with this growth has come increased scrutiny and regulation, particularly in the United States.

The regulations vary widely, with some states and cities implementing strict bans on certain aspects of the industry while others have more lenient rules.

This article provides an overview of the current landscape of vaping regulations in the U.S., starting with the role of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in overseeing these products.

FDA's Role in Vaping Regulation

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is the federal body regulating vaping products in the U.S. In September 2020, the FDA began reviewing Premarket Tobacco Applications (PMTAs).

The agency has stated that flavored products will only receive approval if extraordinary evidence supports their authorization.

The success of the FDA in setting an unwritten standard that removes legal flavored products (excluding tobacco and menthol) may ultimately be determined by federal courts.

State and Local Vaping Restrictions

In the U.S., most vaping restrictions are implemented at the state and local levels. While a few cities in California, including San Francisco, have banned the sale of all vaping products, most American vaping restrictions pertain to flavors and online sales.

Despite the numerous vaping bans proposed in state legislatures in recent years, only a few actual bans on flavors and online sales exist.

This is a testament to the effectiveness of grassroots opposition in preventing the passage of unfavorable legislation.

State-by-State Vaping Regulations

Arkansas – Restriction on Online Sales

Arkansas only allows tobacco sales through direct, in-person transactions, making online sales illegal.

Georgia – Prohibition of Online Sales

In Georgia, the sale of vaping products is restricted to face-to-face retail transactions; thus, online sales are not permitted.

Hawaii – Ban on Out-of-State Online Sales

Effective July 1, 2023, Hawaii will prohibit the sale of vaping products shipped from outside the state, except those sent to licensed retailers.

Maine – Online Sales Prohibition

Online sales of vaping products are forbidden in Maine, except for transactions between licensed businesses.

Massachusetts – Ban on Flavored Vapes

Massachusetts was the first state to enact a statewide ban on flavored vaping products in late 2019. The ban encompasses all tobacco products and forbids the sale of all vape flavors, excluding tobacco.

New Jersey – Flavor Restriction

New Jersey's legislation restricts all vape flavors except tobacco. After considering the potential loss of tax revenue, the state decided not to ban menthol cigarettes. The governor approved the flavor ban and a tax increase on vaping products but rejected the proposed 20 mg/mL nicotine-strength limit.

New York – Flavor and Online Sales Prohibition

New York passed a flavor ban in April 2020, restricting all flavors except tobacco. Simultaneously, the state also banned online sales of all vaping products.

Oregon – Online Sales Restriction

Oregon prohibits online sales of vaping products except for transactions between licensed businesses.

Rhode Island – Flavor Ban

In March 2020, then-governor Gina Raimondo bypassed the state legislature and permanently used the Department of Health to ban all vape flavors except tobacco.

South Dakota – Prohibition on Shipping

South Dakota has a ban on shipping all tobacco products, including vapes.

Utah – Online Sales Ban

Utah restricts online sales of vaping products, except for transactions between licensed businesses.

Vermont – Restriction on Online Sales

Vermont prohibits online sales of vaping products except for transactions between licensed businesses.

Flavor Bans in Major Cities

Major cities with flavor bans include Chicago, IL; Los Angeles (effective from 2023); San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, and San Jose, CA; and Boulder, CO.

Numerous smaller cities and counties—primarily in California—also have flavor bans, as do some larger cities whose bans have since been overridden by state bans (like New York City and Newark, NJ).

Complete Bans on Vaping Product Sales

San Francisco and several smaller cities in California have implemented complete bans on the sale of vaping products.

As the vaping industry continues to evolve, so will the regulations governing it. Both businesses and consumers must stay informed about these changes to navigate the landscape effectively.

Despite the restrictions, the vaping industry thrives, offering various products to suit different preferences and needs. As we move forward, it will be interesting to see how these regulations adapt to the changing landscape of the vaping industry.