By Andi TenBarge
Despite the requests of some who testified Wednesday, the Senate Public Policy Committee voted to move a bill to the Senate that would add more regulations to the e-liquid industry.
The liquids, often referred to as “e-liquids,” are used in vapor pens and are similar to products such as e-cigarettes and hookah pens. Some said they want to have more information about the industry because it is relatively new in comparison to similar products.
“We would love to have a little time to work on this bill,” Michael Leppert the director of public affairs at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP said. “We are a little surprised that it moved and that it moved as fast as it did.”
The bill’s author, Rep. Kevin Mahan, R-Hartford City, said House Bill 1432 is meant to protect consumers from potentially harmful e-liquids, to regulate the manufacturing, sale, possession, and use of e-liquids, and to prohibit the use of them by minors.
It also requires e-liquid bottles to have labels that list all ingredients as well as a batch code – and limits the ingredients manufacturers can use.
Mahan said he is working closely with small business owners who worry new rules could cost them thousands, potentially forcing them to close their doors. Mahan said he wants to come up with a solution that would protect their livelihoods and the consumers.
Despite their concerns, most opponents said they agreed there is a need for regulation to some extent.
“There’s going to be some cost associated with compliance,” Evan Machon, the spokesperson for Hoosier Vapors said. “We understand that and we think that we’ve come to these meetings understanding that and hoping that by doing that we can cut some of those extremely large burdens that will end the industry in this state or leave it in the hands of just one or two very large players.”
Andi TenBarge is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news service powered by Franklin College journalism students.