Indiana passes e-cig regs, but stops short of vaping ban

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The State of Indiana is moving to regulate e-cigarettes and the liquids used for “vaping.” The Indiana House and Senate both have passed legislation that would ban sales of the liquids to those under 18, require child-proof caps on containers, and require manufacturing safety standards. However, Indiana does not appear to be moving toward adding e-cigarettes to Indiana’s smoking ban as the state attorney general wanted.

Here’s a summary of what the bill contains according to WBAA radio:

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.

The last thing Indiana should be doing is considering regulations that would diminish the availability of e-cigarettes. In addition, Indiana should keep in mind as they regulate these products they can serve as a smoking cessation aid. A study last year found that e-cigarette users were 60 percent more likely to quit smoking than if they used nicotine patches or gum. If Indiana restricts e-cigarettes, they will subject smokers to the higher health risk of tobacco smoking or force those who do want to quit to use the less-successful means.

Another idea that Indiana lawmakers considered was adding “vaping” to the public smoking ban already in place. However, this would be a bad idea for many reasons. Second-hand e-cigarette vapors are not nearly as harmful as second-hand tobacco smoke. A study found that second-hand e-cigarette vapors contained far fewer harmful chemicals than second-hand tobacco smoke and posed less of a risk to bystanders. Given the minimal risk to non-smokers and non-vapers, adding e-cigarettes to the public smoking ban would be an unnecessary infringement upon personal freedom.

Adding e-cigarettes to the public smoking ban also would eliminate an incentive for tobacco smokers to switch to e-cigarettes. Many people who take up vaping do so as a way to get around public smoking bans. There are likely always going to be people who will smoke as a means of ingesting nicotine. One of the reasons we have public smoking bans, in addition to the public health reasons, is to stigmatize smoking. If the goal is to improve public health, why would lawmakers consider a similar approach toward e-cigarettes? By adding e-cigarettes to the public smoking ban that covers tobacco cigarettes, it will unfairly stigmatize e-cigarette users and discourage people who are looking to quit smoking from using those products.

Many of these regulations are caused by the fear that teens are using e-cigarettes. In fact, a CDC study found that more teens were using e-cigarettes than using conventional cigarettes. The e-cigarette industry also makes it clear they support banning sales of e-cigarettes to those under 18. Instead of adding new regulations that may bankrupt legitimate vaping shops, perhaps the state of Indiana could work with retailers on programs to check identification of potential e-cigarette buyers, just as is currently done with tobacco and alcohol.

Indiana lawmakers, when they devise final regulations for e-cigarettes, need to take public health into account. They should also be careful not force Indiana residents into more dangerous and more risky options in a misguided effort to protect public health. Indiana lawmakers should remember the old maxim to “do no harm” when considering legislation on e-cigarettes.

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  • charlie

    Studies for 2013 and 14 indicate 20 million Americans are using e-cigs regularly. 3-4 million of them no longer smoke cigarettes (including me). Where are the reports of physicians treating illnesses caused by using e-cigs?

    Nobody should give anything anytime to any minor child if their parents might not approve. Hasn’t that been common sense for about 100,000 years? May be longer. However, parents must be the ones to decide if their children can have an e-cig off school property. Don’t interfere with parents trying to protect the health of their children. I wish e-cigs had been around when I was a kid.

  • Nameless

    Haven’t had a cigarette since January 9th 2013. Haven’t had nicotine since November 15th 2014. I plan to not have flavoring next then I plan to quit vaping. Hi…I’m one of those people that said “I can’t quit” for decades. As someone who is 49 years old who started smoking when I was 12…that should speak so loudly it deafens every politician’s ears with delight. I’m sorry, silly me, that’s IF they really cared about society and my health and living a long life.

    I can shovel 10 inches of snow a lot easier than i could when I smoked. Is that good enough? No? I don’t wheeze at all anymore. Is that good enough? No? I have more energy and don’t feel as crappy as I use too. Is that good enough? No? I don’t cough up gross stuff especially in the morning anymore. Is that good enough? No? My family tells me I don’t smell disgusting anymore. Is that good enough? No? People around me are not bothered at all by the vapor. Their eyes don’t sting, they don’t choke on it, and now instead of them being offended by the smell I hear “mmm…mango?” Renovated the place a year ago, no signs at all of nicotine stains, which are really staining from the tar in cigarettes. My fridge still isn’t even a light shade of dirty orange.

    I’d like to congratulate politicians for once again dominating the field of stupidity all to save their own ass and keep their political seat bought for them by big pharma. Interesting thing is, if big pharma invented e cigarettes it would be the greatest quitting invention since the cultivation of tobacco and no one would agree more than the politicians with big pharma’s hands firmly up their ass.

    I don’t know how bad an idea teens using e cigs would be. I know I know…how dare I say that. I was just thinking…if I had access to e cigs as a 17 year old…maybe I would of been smoke free and vape free by the age of 20 instead of the age of 50. I don’t know. Just thinking out loud.

  • Bob Johnson
  • DawgDaze

    Obviously,Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City is securely in the back pocket of “Big Tobacco”

  • Brian Fojtik

    I work on e-cigarettes and vapor legislation on 28 states and am aware of all bills in every state. This is BY FAR the worst, most restrictive and harmful e-cigarette bill in the entire country. It’s worse than vaping ban bills. It’s worse than flavor ban bills. It’s worse than any proposed tax – and all three of those are horrible. This bill is literally an effort by the largest lobby entity in the state of Indiana – Centaur Gaming – to create a regulatory framework for a business in which they have a nominal presence at best (they created a vapor company no one has ever heard of in November). Essentially, what the bill does is put pretty much every shop that manufactures liquid in Indiana out of business. It also will likely make it impossible for thousands of companies (even large international, responsible companies) from shipping product into Indiana for sale.

    This bill will do nothing to keep products from kids or the host of other “problems” the advocates profess to solve. Many of those smaller issues can be resolved very easily with comparatively simple solutions. This is NOTHING but a crony capitalist, pure power play by the entity in the state with the largest, and most expensive lobbying team in the Capitol. Among other things it essentially says if you want to manufacture in Indiana, you must install a security system equal to that that casinos have. Does that make liquid safer? No, it allows a large casino company to be the only approved manufacturer. I actually have businesses in Indiana contacting me to determine what they need to do to move to Illinois (of all places – not the best place to own a business).

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