Mahan: Addressing concerns, creating guidelines for e-liquids industry

Posted by: Samantha Holifield  | Thursday, April 13, 2017 12:01 pm

Once again, there has been a lot of discussion about e-liquids and vaping during the 2017 legislative session. This year, I was a co-sponsor on Senate Bill 1, which would make some changes to the e-liquid laws that were previously enacted. I joined the conversation on vaping back in 2015, when I became the original author of legislation that began the process of creating guidelines and safety precautions for Hoosiers that manufacture, distribute, sell and use e-liquids.

I want to be clear that any legislation I have authored or supported dealing with e-liquids ultimately comes down to the health and safety of all Hoosiers, especially children. We will maintain the ban on the sale of e-liquids to minors. Just like tobacco products, no one under the age of 18 can purchase e-liquids. Whether it is done intentionally or not, there are several e-liquid flavors and package designs that appeal to children and teenagers. Drawing the attention of young children with brightly colored packaging and cartoon-like characters can lead to the accidental, but potentially deadly, ingestion of the product. Under Senate Bill 1, we established clear packaging guidelines for companies to reduce the possibility of this happening. For example, e-liquid packages cannot have pictures of cartoon characters on the labels. This aligns the package guidelines for e-liquids to other products that pose a danger to children. There are similar rules that tobacco companies must follow for cigarette cartons and packs. Regulating packaging is just one preventative measure we can take to keep children safe, much like childproof caps on medicines or cleaning supplies.

Senate Bill 1 also addresses additional safety requirements. This legislation and current law is intended to reduce dangerous situations, such as contamination, that can happen when creating and mixing different flavors and products. I believe these commonsense regulations for the production of e-liquids are necessary because the product involves substances that are being absorbed into the user’s body.

I feel that the proposed actions taken in Senate Bill 1 and previous legislation are necessary because there is currently a lack of substantial federal regulation regarding the e-liquid market. I am proud that the Indiana General Assembly took the initiative to create these commonsense, minimum regulations in our state. I was glad to join my fellow lawmakers this session and work through the concerns of various businesses, healthcare advocates and individual Hoosiers. During the committee hearing in the House, no one spoke against the bill in public testimony.

This legislation is currently being considered in conference committee and must be sent to the governor for further action before the end of the month. There are still several bills we must take action on before we adjourn Sine Die. As we wrap up, please continue to contact me at 317-234-9499 or h31@iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Kevin Mahan (R-Hartford City) represents

portions of Blackford, Delaware, Grant and Wells counties.

A high-resolution photo of Mahan can be downloaded by clicking here.