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S. 1253 (116th): Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act

The text of the bill below is as of Apr 30, 2019 (Introduced).

Summary of this bill

Should a loophole allowing minors to purchase tobacco products online be tightened or closed?


Most states require a minimum age of 18 to purchase or use tobacco products, although 18 states and counting have raised the minimum age to 21. These states cross the political spectrum, including such red states as Arkansas, Texas, and Utah.

However, purchasing e-cigarettes online does not require any age verification under law. This allows for the skirting of state minimum age laws, which is problematic as e-cigarette use among teens reached its highest levels yet in 2018 — and possibly still rising.

What the legislation does

The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to …



1st Session

S. 1253


April 30, 2019

(for herself, Mr. Cornyn, Mr. Van Hollen, Mr. Blumenthal, Ms. Harris, Ms. Klobuchar, Mr. Wyden, and Mr. Durbin) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To apply requirements relating to delivery sales of cigarettes to delivery sales of electronic nicotine delivery systems, and for other purposes.


Short title

This Act may be cited as the Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act.


Amendments to the Jenkins Act


In general

The Act entitled An Act to assist States in collecting sales and use taxes on cigarettes, approved October 19, 1949 (commonly known as the Jenkins Act) (15 U.S.C. 375 et seq.), is amended—


in section 1 (15 U.S.C. 375)—


in paragraph (2)(A)(ii)—


by striking includes roll-your-own tobacco and inserting the following: “includes—


roll-your-own tobacco



in subclause (I), as so designated, by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and


by adding at the end the following:


an electronic nicotine delivery system.



by redesignating paragraphs (7) through (14) as paragraphs (8) through (15), respectively; and


by inserting after paragraph (6) the following:


Electronic nicotine delivery system

The term electronic nicotine delivery system


means any electronic device that, through an aerosolized solution, delivers nicotine, flavor, or any other substance to the user inhaling from the device;




an e-cigarette;


an e-hookah;


an e-cigar;


a vape pen;


an advanced refillable personal vaporizer;


an electronic pipe; and


any component, liquid, part, or accessory of a device described in subparagraph (A), without regard to whether the component, liquid, part, or accessory is sold separately from the device; and


does not include a product that is—


approved by the Food and Drug Administration for—


sale as a tobacco cessation product; or


any other therapeutic purpose; and


marketed and sold solely for a purpose described in clause (i).

; and


in section 2A(b)(1) (15 U.S.C. 376a(b)(1)), by inserting NICOTINE/ after CIGARETTES/.


Effective date

This section, and the amendments made by this section, shall take effect on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act.


Nonmailability of electronic nicotine delivery systems



Not later than 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the United States Postal Service shall promulgate regulations to clarify the applicability of the prohibition on mailing of cigarettes under section 1716E of title 18, United States Code, to electronic nicotine delivery systems, in accordance with the amendment to the definition of cigarette made by section 2.


Effective date

The prohibition on mailing of cigarettes under section 1716E of title 18, United States Code, shall apply to electronic nicotine delivery systems on and after the date on which the United States Postal Service promulgates regulations under subsection (a) of this section.