City and County of San Francisco Tobacco Distributor Notification Letter
Studies suggest about one third of underage e-cigarette users in the U.S. purchase e-cigarettes online, avoiding the minimum legal sales age and ID check of in-person sales. Because of this problem, Congress recently updated federal law to impose delivery sales restrictions on e-cigarettes. California state law also regulates tobacco product deliveries, including many provisions designed to prevent sales to youth. A 2020 update to the STAKE Act strengthened delivery sales rules for all tobacco products and gave local enforcement authorities a role in preventing illegal online sales. Local jurisdictions can go further: entirely prohibiting or further regulating online tobacco sales, or enforcing minimum legal sales age laws against online sellers.
Presenters will: explain the new federal prohibition on the shipping of e-cigarettes and related products through the U.S. Postal Service; describe regulatory controls on delivery sales that already apply to tobacco products at the state and federal levels; give real-world examples of educating online retailers to prevent illegal sales; and talk about past enforcement actions against online retailers selling to youth.
Yosef Mahmood, Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office
Janine Young, San Francisco Department of Public Health
Julie Amajuoyi, Public Health Law Center
Hudson Kingston, Public Health Law Center