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A North Dakota proposal to prohibit remote sales of e-cigarettes would hurt public health by cutting off rural access to these products. ATR’s Director of Consumer Issues, Tim Andrews, authored written testimony to members of North Dakota’s House Industry, Business, and Labor Committee ahead of their January 17th hearing on the legislation. An excerpt of the letter can be read below.

It must be noted that 49.6% of North Dakotans live in rural areas, making it significantly less likely that they would be able to access a local vape store to purchase reduced risk alternatives to tobacco. Many people who live in rural areas of North Dakota rely on delivery services for their vaping products. Cutting off this legal route of commerce would be a cruel use of government authority.

Further, there is no evidence that online retailers sell products to underage users. In fact, online retailers have extremely strict ID verification requirements that are mandated by the system, even stricter than in-store retailers.

An article from ATR’s Karl Abramson explaining the harms of remote sales bans on rural communities can be read here. The full ATR testimony can be found here.