Indiana E-Cigarette Regulations: Too Far Or Not Far Enough?

Mar 5, 2015

Business owners in Indiana’s vaping industry say proposed requirements are still too strict.
Credit Barbara Brosher / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Business owners in Indiana’s vaping industry – making and selling liquids for e-cigarettes – say despite all the work that’s gone into legislation regulating e-liquids, proposed requirements are still too strict.

A Senate committee Wednesday unanimously approved the requirements.

Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City, authored a bill including several regulations vape shop owners say they’re comfortable with – prohibiting sales to anyone under 18 years old, ensuring e-liquids are prepared in rooms that are up to commercial food preparation standards, requiring tamper-proof safety caps.

There are other provisions they say go too far, including one that requires them to store three samples of each mixture they create. Indianapolis vape shop owner Shawn Anderson says that requirement would bankrupt him.

“With the amount of samples that I would have to save, because we do batches as small as six milliliters, it would cost me over $1.2 million per year,” he says.

Mahan says he’s had discussions with vape shop owners throughout session and looks forward to continuing that dialogue.

But Chief Deputy Attorney General Matt Light says the bill should do more to keep e-liquids out of the hands of minors.

Light’s suggestions include imposing an excise tax on vaping liquids. He says there should also be steps taken to address potential issues with secondhand smoke from vaping.

“Not looking at the statewide smoking ban and considering including e-cigarettes in that context might jeopardize some of the progress or some of the things that you’ve done with the statewide smoking ban to this point,” Light says.

Mahan says he’ll leave the excise tax issue up to the legislature’s fiscal leaders, but he notes that many House lawmakers expressed opposition to including e-cigarettes in the statewide smoking ban.