Indiana Senate approves regulations for e-cigarettes

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Indiana Senate voted Tuesday to move forward with a bill to regulate electronic cigarettes.

The bill focuses specifically on the liquids used in e-cigarettes -- it mandates childproof caps on all e-liquid containers and outlines a number of requirements for manufacturers.

Many health advocates and vape shop owners are opposed to the measure, prompting nearly two dozen vape shop owners to rally outside the Senate chamber Tuesday.

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The bill requires manufacturers of e-liquids used in the state to obtain a permit -- whether they are located in Indiana or not.

It directs manufacturers to install a security system with 24-hour video surveillance in the area where the e-liquids are being produced and bottled. It also requires a clean room for all manufacturing and bottling.

The proposal would also require manufacturers to retain three 10-millimeter samples of e-liquid from each batch.

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"It's important to us because this is going to dramatically change our industry and our community, and it has the potential to put some of the businesses out of business in the State of Indiana," said John McCullough with Vapor Bank.

"We also want e-cigarettes included in the statewide smoke-free law, and so it really doesn't improve public health whatsoever," said Danielle Patterson with the American Heart Association.

The bill does not include any new fees on e-cigarettes. Attorney General Greg Zoeller urged lawmakers to impose a 24-percent tax on the wholesale price earlier this year.

Since the Senate approved the proposal with a few changes, it will now head back to the House for consideration. If the House OKs those changes, the bill will head to the governor’s desk.

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