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Selling E-cigs in USA locations

Discussion in 'Law and the E-Cigarette' started by Rockbassray, Dec 7, 2008.

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  1. Rockbassray

    Rockbassray Moved On

    Dec 4, 2008
    Chicago IL
    I was wondering if anyone can point me to or provide information where i can go to see if i can setup a small store in U.S. and sell the products. Or what laws i have to follow, etc.. I want to setup a small shop in my state somewhere to see them but before i go with getting a supplier and everything i like to know whether or not it is even legal.

    I goal would be Chicago and the suburbs surrounding it. I would either have a small store. .or setup small shops within a few malls.
  2. MagusSteele

    MagusSteele Super Member ECF Veteran

    Your Asking A LOT here.
    Plus, unless someone had a business in Chicago, theres no way to tell you the fees, files, licences, agents, shippers, And all the local stuff., for City, County and State.

    Hate to say it, but this is a google moment.
  3. GreyHawk

    GreyHawk Senior Member

    Oct 20, 2008
    Chicago, IL U.S.A.
    My completely non-expert opinion would be to avoid setting up shop IN Chicago proper. While I don't have nor have I ever run a business here I know some who have. The taxes, fees, and municipal ordinances here in the city are ridiculous. I'm almost positive that you would be better served getting a small store front just outside of the city.
  4. Rockbassray

    Rockbassray Moved On

    Dec 4, 2008
    Chicago IL
    Well i am leaning out of Cook County. :). no way am i dealing with those taxes... But i was more of going to start it out from my house before i did a store..

    and yes Magus, i know other sellers will not share there Intel... I was hoping someone out of state would see this or someone that is kind enough to help a fellow vapor:)>
  5. LaceyUnderall

    LaceyUnderall Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 4, 2008
    USA and Canada
    rockbassray -

    my suggestion is to go to the illinois government small business website and start an LLC. The fee will be minimal. That way, you can start selling whatever you want under your co name (if you haven't done this already). They will also provide you with your rules and regulations as far as paying/charging sales state tax to instate vs out of state customers.
  6. judasburrito

    judasburrito Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 11, 2008
    Champaign, IL
  7. lewsadk

    lewsadk New Member

    Jan 11, 2009
    Is there a ban on these in Illinois? I was on electroniccigarettesales and they advise they don't ship to Illinois? I am new to this and looking for a good one to buy. I thought their site was the one till I saw that disclaimer.

  8. yvilla

    yvilla Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 18, 2008
    Rochester, NY
    No, its not because of any ban, the owner just does not want to have to collect sales tax, which she would have to do if she sold in Illinois. :)
  9. lewsadk

    lewsadk New Member

    Jan 11, 2009
  10. Shining Wit

    Shining Wit Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Oct 11, 2008
    North of England UK
    Apart from what sounds like a torture by tax problem there is the obvious issue of sustainability for a bricks and morter store, ie it could take some time for a specialist store to achieve enough sales to pay the bills. Selling to established shops, bars, restaurants etc is an option with limited overheads and certainly an e-commerce website is a must for most specialist businesses nowadays; a number of the e-commerce sites are available for free or you could pay for one that didn't have the sponsored advertising. Think how many people might walk past the window of your shop each day, how many will stop to look in the window, how many will come in and how many might buy, then look at the traffic that can be generated on the Internet where people want 'shops' at their fingertips. We're helping a number of people to set up but we can only offer general advice. You need to do your homework and formulate a business plan, even if it's very basic, so that you can see how much it's going to cost you and what you can make. The potential for you in the US is enormous but you have to be on top of your game to compete with other resellers. A good product, quick delivery and first class customer service are essential in building up your reputation. Don't forget to allow for advertising, promotion and SEO. Good luck with your venture and if you wish to contact me or would like some idea on pricing please use my work email at Intellicig.
  11. stephenrowley

    stephenrowley Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Nov 17, 2008
    South Africa
    If you looking for a internet store I could suggest a few e-commerce store providers, just let me know

  12. SpaceCadet

    SpaceCadet Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 10, 2009
    Oh man, I totally forgot until now, on my last holiday I was in the Florida Mall in Orlando, and there was an e-cig stall (like one of these cart things where you get people hassling you to buy stinky body scrubs and stuff) - I wouldn't even have noticed except the guy at the stall was wandering around puffing on his e-cig. I guess that grabs attention!

    So yeah, e-cig selling in a massively mainstream setting, probably doesn't cost the earth in rent either. Just a thought!
  13. Adam

    Adam Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Feb 11, 2009
    Omaha, Nebraska
    no one really answered the question... Is it legal to sell e-cigs in the US? I am considering doing the same thing in Nebraska, but the FDA wrote me saying, "with the targets of those actions. Nonetheless, we can make the following general comments:
    The "electronic cigarettes" that we have reviewed are drug-device combinations under section 503(g)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act) (21 U.S.C. 353(g)(1)) with their "drug" uses, as defined by section 201(g) of the Act (21 U.S.C. § 321(g)), as the primary mode of action. These products contain no tobacco leaf or stem material, but are designed to look like conventional cigarettes. They are intended to be manipulated and used (inhaled) in ways similar to how a smoker manipulates and uses conventional cigarettes. And, like conventional cigarettes, they are intended primarily for the delivery of volatilized chemical substances to affect the body's structures and functions and/or to mitigate or treat the symptoms of nicotine addiction through a chemical or metabolic action on the body. The "electronic cigarettes" that we have reviewed are designed with a re-chargeable battery-operated heating element that volatilizes the chemical constituents contained within replaceable cartridges. These cartridges may or may not include nicotine. Thus, the "electronic cigarettes" that we have reviewed are intended for "drug" use. Since we are not aware of any data establishing that such products are generally recognized among scientific experts as safe and effective for these "drug" uses, they are "new drugs," as defined by section 201(p) of the Act (21 U.S.C. § 321(p)) requiring approval of an application filed with FDA in accordance with section 505 of the Act (21 U.S.C. § 355) to be legally marketed in the United States. None of these so-called "electronic cigarettes" is covered by an approved NDA. Thus, the marketing of them in the United States is subject to enforcement action.
    Furthermore, the "electronic cigarettes" that we have reviewed are not subject to the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act (FCLAA), Pub. L. No. 89-92, (15 U.S.C. §§ 1331 et seq), nor are they subject to the Comprehensive Smokeless Tobacco Health Education Act (CSTHEA), Pub. L. No. 98-474 (1986), (15 U.S.C. §§ 4401 et seq). Thus, they do not fit within the regulatory scheme that Congress has established for tobacco products."

    So, this begs the question, is it illegal to sell this "drug" as the FDA is calling it? No one can give you a straight answer. How are suppliers selling this product now without FDA approval if it doesn't fit into the tobacco laws?
  14. leaford

    leaford Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Under the current regulatory scheme it is not legal. But the FDA obviously has not taken a hard stance, nor implemented enforcement.
  15. LaceyUnderall

    LaceyUnderall Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 4, 2008
    USA and Canada
    Actually, the suppliers HAVE been giving straight answers over and over and over. NO ONE wants to listen. These threads cause undue hysteria.

    They are not illegal to sell. They are not illegal to purchase. They are not illegal to ship. They are not illegal to own.

    If you want to be a supplier, it is strongly suggested that you figure out how you need to mark your shipments so they do not get stopped by customs. First clue: Do not mark your package as a "cigarette" since they are not technically cigarettes and then have it numbered as something else... like a "lung apparatus". Do your research, figure out what category it falls into and then have your manufacturer mark it... properly.
  16. Adam

    Adam Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Feb 11, 2009
    Omaha, Nebraska
    ok... Now I'm relly confused. The FDA says selling it is enforceable, but I know of several places selling these on shelves of stores. How are they getting away with it? I wanted to sell them to bars & restaurants as a safer alternative to analogs. Nebraska has a smoking ban in place, which I see the need for e-cigs.

    There is so much conflicting views of leglity that would stop anyone in thier tracks from selling this stuff. I have personally talked too the Nebraska Health & Human Services, Nebraska Tobacco Commission, Nebraska Attorney General's office, and several others and all haven't said they would be illegal to sell in my state, but they haven't said its legal either. It's just that if it is considered a drug, then it would be illegal to sell.

    Lacy, can you site examples of being given the straihgt answers that you say they are not illegal to sell, own or use?

    It's like i said, very conflicting information on both sides.
  17. LaceyUnderall

    LaceyUnderall Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 4, 2008
    USA and Canada

    Adam - Here is a blog post I recently posted The Electronic Cigarette featured on CBS News | e-Cigarettes - Electronic Cigarettes. It may or may not lead you to the answers you are looking for. All I can do is tell you what I, as a supplier for nearly two years, have experienced. If you mark your packages properly, you can get them in no problem. Do some minor research and find the correct numbers to list on your packages.

    You have to look at the devices and the e-liquid separately. Vaporizers are legal to sell and that is what the actual e-cig is. The e-liquid is composed of all legal substances. This is where we all feel there will be problems in the future... but that is still up in the air and right now, no problem getting them in to the US.

    One suggestion: Do not sell them as a "safer alternative to cigarettes". Sell them as an alternative to cigarettes. Do not make any claims about their safety. If you are going around to bars, then your strategy should be getting around the bans.

    Another post you might want to paruse:
  18. wv2win

    wv2win ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 10, 2009
    GA by way of WV
    This really is a strange situation. They have been sold on the Cosco & Target web sites and are now on the web site. They are sold at Pilot Truck Stops. Remember years back when cell phones were supposed to cause brain tumors.
  19. Cage

    Cage Super Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 9, 2009
    Arizona, USA
    Please keep in mind Adam, the reluctance to give anyone a straight answer doesn't mean anyone is trying to dodge the question.
    I'm sure a lawyer would be hesitant also.
    Laws change and are different in every area.
    You just never know what the political, social and/or scientific arenas are going to do.
    What's legal today may be illegal tomorrow.
    I can't imagine how awful I would feel if I told Ray, "Sure, it's perfectly legal, they always will be and don't let anyone tell you otherwise", only to have them declared illegal as soon as his "We're Open" sign is displayed.
  20. Kate

    Kate Moved On

    Jun 26, 2008
    They are confiscating some shipments but haven't started enforcing the rules universally yet.
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