House Committee Wrestles With Vaping Regulations

Mar 28, 2017


Legislation regulating e-liquids – used in e-cigarettes – has gotten complicated as a House committee struggles to impose rules on the industry while avoiding constitutionality issues.

Indiana’s existing vaping regulations essentially created a monopoly, forcing dozens of manufacturers to shut down or move. That prompted lawsuits and an FBI inquiry.

And a federal court ruled earlier this year that Indiana can impose very few regulations on out-of-state manufacturers.

The Senate approved a bill eliminating most of the state’s existing regulations. A House committee wants to add several rules back. Those additions include labeling requirements, bans on marketing to children, and defining e-liquids.

But manufacturers – both local and national – say the committee’s additions are riddled with issues. Tyler Burr represents Reynolds American, a tobacco company. He says Indiana is trying to go further than any other state.

“I mean, you’re in really uncharted waters related to vapor regulation and, especially, manufacturing,” Burr says.

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) says he doesn’t want to see the legislature regulate people out of business.

“We’re fixing something that we screwed up royally to begin with,” Lucas says. “And we need to be cautious of that moving on.”

But Rep. Sean Eberhart (R-Shelbyville) preaches caution as the committee tries to address the industry’s concerns.

“And I’m worried that we’re taking too many things out that will put the public at risk,” Eberhart says.

The committee will continue amending the bill this week.