Indiana’s troubled vaping law has been amended in the latest round of efforts to get the law passed. The new amended legislation passed a State House panel by a vote of 12-0 and will now move on to the full House. The bill eliminates much of the original law’s requirements but leaves intact requirements for labeling and nicotine warnings.
Background: The original law that was passed in 2016 got lawmakers in trouble and prompted an FBI investigation. The problem stemmed from a situation that had all the markings of a monopoly. The law required e-liquid manufacturers to submit products for testing and get a permit in order to be allowed to sell e-liquid in Indiana. The testing was to be performed by one company. Though that was not the intention of the law, the requirements to be chosen as a testing facility and permit-issuer were so rigorous that only one company was able to pass. That company happened to be located in Indiana. The FBI launched an investigation and it was widely believed that a monopoly had been created.
Another problem with the law was that it extended its reach beyond Indiana by making out-of-state e-liquid manufacturers comply with Indiana’s rules. That part of the law was overturned because it violated the United States Constitution.
Lawmakers debated ways to change the law to make it constitutional and at the same time keep e-liquid manufacturing under control. All of this, of course, was due to fears about the imagined dangers of e-cigarettes and vaping. While no one in the vaping industry is opposed to common sense measures like labeling and full disclosure of ingredients, the original testing requirements under the law were so extreme that only six e-liquid manufacturers in the country were able to pass. The rules called for, among other things, 24-hour-a-day video monitoring of e-liquid manufacturing facilities; something that is not even required for most food preparation facilities.
The House panel’s new version of the law met with the approval of many in the vaping industry. Labeling, ingredients lists, nicotine warnings and a traceable bar code are included in the bill. There had been discussion on adding a ban on cartoons on labels and mandating insurance, but these provisions were not included in the final bill.
The original law had forced many Indiana vaping businesses to move out of state. Evan McMahon, chair of Hoosier Vapers, says that the revamped law may help those businesses to move back home.