WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the American Vaping Association, a pro-vaping advocacy organization, sent a letter to FedEx signed by 428 small business owners urging the carrier to reconsider its recent policy change that prohibits them from shipping or receiving vaping products, otherwise known as e-cigarettes. The letter warns that the refusal of FedEx to update their policy will have unintended consequences, including perpetuating smoking-related deaths, especially in marginalized communities.
Small businesses across the country rely on common carriers like FedEx, UPS and DHL to meet customer demands and to get lifesaving products in the hands of those who need them most. Unfortunately, in the wake of the decision by Congress in December 2020 to prohibit the United States Postal Service from delivering vaping products to consumers, these private carriers responded by prohibiting their customers from shipping vaping products to both businesses and consumers.
Now, small businesses across the country are feeling the brunt of these new policies, which make vaping products harder to ship than firearms. In the letter, the owners write:
The effects of this decision will be felt disproportionately among minority and low-income communities. The letter points out that these communities “smoke cigarettes at higher rates than white and more affluent populations,” and Black Americans are among the most likely demographic to use e-cigarettes as a tool to quit combustible tobacco.
President of American Vaping Association Gregory Conley implores these shipping companies to reconsider this decision and look at the harmful effects it will have on already disadvantaged communities:
“FedEx is doing a great disservice to American small businesses and consumers. They are playing right into the hands of Big Tobacco, which directly benefits from policies that make it more expensive for adult smokers to switch. Not only are vaping products legal and regulated by the Food & Drug Administrations, but they saving lives by keeping people off combustible cigarettes.”
That is why American Vaping Association stands with these businesses and is encouraging FedEx to revisit this disastrous policy.
To read the full letter, please visit: https://vaping.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/AVA-Coaltion-Letter-FedEx-7.12.21.pdf