As we tackle the new restriction that has been enforced by the government on the sales and advertising of vape orientated products, we now face another hurdle that has been thrown at us.
Paypal has decided to cut all connections with vendors selling any e-cigarette products leaving a lot of individuals without means to make online purchases and seeking other ways of obtaining their needed wares.
So where does this leave you as a consumer and where does it leave vendors who supply so many people, either unable to make it into a physical store or who order certain things from overseas?
Why has this happened now and was there a warning that this might happen?
Let’s have a look and find out, in this article we will go on a little investigation around what this all means and why we shouldn’t be too worried about the future of the industry.
First off let’s look a little into the past to see what warning signs there were that this was on the horizon.
Paypal is a huge company that understandably operates on the side of caution in dealing with transactions that they are accountable for.
However, this doesn’t excuse the fact that they provide conflicting information to businesses, which in turn can create a misunderstanding to said customers that in return can result in the freezing of funds.
One of the more confusing particulars is that in 2015 Paypal changed their policies making it mandatory for a vendor to request pre-approvals for service if selling E-Cigarettes.
When applying for pre-approval as an E-Cigarette vendor, however, the applicant will be greeted with this reply –
“Under PayPal’s Acceptable Use Policy, PayPal may not be used for the sale of e-cigarettes, including e-liquids containing nicotine, without pre-approval. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer pre-approval for you at this time; this is due to complex legal and payment industry requirements related to e-cigarettes.”
Which is the sweet and short of the hurdle we are now facing.
This news has made its impact felt across the world with all major distributors needing to change the way that they do business. FastTech in China has issued the following notice to all its customers informing that Paypal is no longer available to pay for orders containing any E-Cigarette products –
“We’re so very sorry to inform you that PayPal officially revised the Acceptable Use Policy regarding e-cigarette related products, transitions involving most of the e-cigarette products will be prohibited from now. Other payment methods involving methods such as cryptocurrencies and gift cards are not affected. Non-e-cigarette products on our website are also not affected”.
PayPal still states that E-cigarette sales need to have pre-approval, but the fact of the matter is that no vendor can be pre-approved.
Truth be told, E-cigarette and E-liquid sales have been against PayPal’s “Acceptable Use Policy” in the United States since 2009, forcing some vendor to operate outside of the U.S or simply find a way to get passed the pre-approval immorally, which is a huge risk considering that they run the risk of their accounts being suspended or having their funds frozen for 120 days.
PayPal’s Help Center states –
“PayPal generally prohibits transactions for all types of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and smokeless tobacco due to legal requirements and industry regulations for online tobacco sales.”
So why now?
What has changed for the rest of the world’s vendors to justify this sudden revoke of service?
To date, the explanation that David Gilbert from Supergood gives is that –
“They do not want to facilitate the sale of any vape related products”.
So why even have the option to apply for pre-approval to sell E-cigarette related products?
If the choice to deny all vendors the service is just down to “The Science not being there” then that seems to be an archaic view and one that has obviously come about due to absolute lack of research.
If they had taken the time to do even a slight bit of information gathering to create an educated decision then this matter would be palatable and maybe the outcome would be different.
You need not look too far for new papers and research that is turning the argument around in favour of the use of E-cigarettes as a not only more viable cessation tool but also as a more effective one across the board. A new paper named the Cochrane Review, which is a systematic review of research, that re-asserts vapour products as an effective aid that to becoming smokefree and that causes far less harm than conventional tobacco.
Not only that but the UK’s Public Health board continues to advocate for E-cigarette usage as a less harmful and more successful means to help individuals on their journey to remove smoking from their lives.
“They feel there is not enough scientific evidence to ensure the products are safe. The science is there for all to see!”
Where to now?
For a lot of vendors, there is still the option of direct bank transfer and or use of cryptocurrencies, however, this comes with another whole host of issues for both the vendor’s and the customer’s, as many will be purchasing products from other countries which will incur bank fees and transfer fees on top of not only the cost of the products but also the postage, creating what was a cheaper alternative to then become inline with what one was spending on smoking and with added hassle.
This change not only affects the lives of those who are trying to make a healthier way of life but also greatly impact those who work in the industry, putting a strain on the small business which in turn creates the very real fear of losing the income employees rely on, which in today’s current economic climate could be absolute disaster coming into the holiday season and therefore after.
So now it is up to you, as vendors are scrambling to find a way to keep the turnover up and more importantly provide the service in aiding you and all others in their quest of freedom from expensive deadly cigarettes to the safer and cheaper alternative, now more than ever your local vape store needs your support and hopefully, very soon vendors will have a solution, so we all wait with bated breath.