USPS new restrictions on Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems

USPS New Mailing Restrictions for Electronic Cigarettes, e-Hookahs, Vape Pens, Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems, and Related Parts Are Now in Effect

USPS published a final rule, ‘Treatment of E-Cigarettes in the Mail,’ in the Federal Register on October 21, 2021, revising part 47 of Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted and Perishable Mail.

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The final rule implements new statutory restrictions on mailing Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), including related liquids, parts, components, or accessories.

The Postal Service emphasizes that despite the name, ENDS include devices that deliver any substance, not just nicotine, via an aerosolized solution to users inhaling from the device (for instance, electronic cigarettes, e-hookahs, or vape pens).

In addition, the new rule revises provisions and processes relating to the mailability of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco.

This means ENDS are now generally subject to the same laws prohibiting and restricting cigarettes as well as smokeless tobacco.

As a result, all such items are prohibited in inbound and outbound international mail, as well as mail to and from overseas military and diplomatic addresses, and mail to and from the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, and Palau.

In domestic mail, there are some exceptions that allow the mailing of these items:

  • Intra-Alaska and Intra-Hawaii Shipments.
  • Business/Regulatory Purposes—shipments between authorized businesses or between such businesses and federal or state regulators.
  • Certain Individuals—infrequent, lightweight, non-commercial shipments by individual adults.
  • Consumer Testing/Public Health (combustible cigarettes only)—infrequent, lightweight shipments to individual test subjects by authorized businesses or federal agencies.

Each domestic exception is subject to numerous conditions and requirements as outlined in Publication 52 part 473 (see link below).


Online merchants and shippers that would be impacted by this rules change should read the entire Final rule as published by USPS in the Federal Register. The new rule became effective on October 21, 2021.

Here is the link to the 34-page Federal Register filing 86 FR 58398. 

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