Another bit of nanny statism buried inside the coronavirus relief/government spending bill are new rules that make it increasingly difficult for people to buy and get vaping products delivered to their homes.

Like so many moral panics, this one is intended to protect “the children.” By punishing everyone else. Perhaps not surprisingly, the chief mover behind the bill is the poster child for term limits, Sen. Dianne Feinstein:

The Feinstein bill further expands the Jenkins Act, redefining cigarette to include “electronic nicotine delivery systems,” which are not cigarettes. It also counterintuitively defines electronic nicotine delivery system to include products that do not deliver nicotine: “any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device” (emphasis added). That category includes e-cigarettes, e-hookahs, e-cigars, electronic pipes, vape pens, and refillable vaporizers, plus “any component, liquid, part, or accessory” used with those devices, whether shipped together with them or sold separately.

In other words, every product related to vaping, whether of nicotine, THC, CBD, lavender, or anything else, will now be subject to the Jenkins Act’s burdensome requirements. According to Feinstein, a bottle of e-liquid is a cigarette; so is a bottle of herbal essential oil if you plan to vape it. A coil or pod cartridge for a nicotine vaporizer is now also a cigarette; so is a vaporizer designed for THC or CBD oil.

Feinstein’s bill also requires the U.S. Postal Service to “clarify” that the ban on mailing cigarettes covers all of those products, which are not actually cigarettes and may not even have anything to do with nicotine. The new ban, disingenuously presented as a clarification of the existing ban, will take effect within 120 days of the law’s passage.

These reality-defying redefinitions ostensibly are aimed at preventing the sale of e-cigarettes to anyone younger than 21, the minimum age set by federal law.

This has little to do with public health, even less to do with “the children,” and everything to do with punishing the law-abiding for engaging in behavior some dislike.

Image Credit: Lindsay Fox [CC BY-SA 4.0 (]