Urgent Consumer Action Required to Stop PMTA Registry Bills

Feb. 9 update: This article has been updated with additional state PMTA registry bills (and other bills). We will continue to add proposed state legislation as it is introduced.
Urgent Consumer Action Required to Stop PMTA Registry Bills
Section Link to Section
PMTA Registry Bills? Which states are considering PMTA registry bills?
PMTA Registries Why does Big Tobacco favor PMTA registries?

 

Feb. 9 update: This article has been updated with additional state PMTA registry bills (and other bills). We will continue to add proposed state legislation as it is introduced.

A new type of restricted vape product regulation is gaining popularity in state legislatures. This year, more than a dozen "PMTA registry" (or directory) measures have been introduced. Tobacco businesses pitch the measures to state politicians in order to insulate themselves from competition.

The new proposals are based on legislation approved in Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Alabama in the previous two years. A state creates a registry (or directory) of things that can be lawfully marketed in that state, which is managed by a state agency. Manufacturers, distributors, and dealers of items who wish to add them to the register must certify under pain of perjury that the products are either allowed for sale by an FDA marketing granting order (MGO) or are currently being reviewed by the agency. Each registered product often incurs a one-time or ongoing cost, and it is posted on a public website.

Considering so few popular vape shop items fulfil all of the standards of a PMTA registry statute, the regulations provide a significant advantage to tobacco businesses (and one big independent vape producer) that do have qualifying products. They also make it easier for law enforcement to target vape stores, which typically do not offer tobacco industry vape goods.

The regulations make it simple for politicians to inform constituents—who may be alarmed by recurring news articles about a juvenile vaping "epidemic"—that they have taken steps to halt the vaping tide and safeguard children. In actuality, the regulations will create a true black market in which unregulated, untaxed items are offered to anybody with money on social media and sketchy websites.

Which states are considering PMTA registry bills?

Here's a list of states that have introduced PMTA registry bills. Some are completely new, while others have already gone to hearings and constitute an urgent threat to vaping users and companies in their state.

We have included links to the laws themselves (if there are different house and senate bills, there is generally just one link), as well as a second link if the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) has issued a call to action for state citizens.

CASAA often makes a call to action when a bill is fast gaining traction among legislators, committee hearings have been set, or hearings are imminent. In other words, if CASAA has issued a call to action, the legislation poses a severe and immediate threat, and reactions from vaping and nicotine users are urgently required to persuade legislators to oppose the registry bill.

Remember that just because a measure hasn't received a call to action doesn't imply it won't be moved soon. Even if your state is not currently under a danger, one might emerge at any moment. If you join CASAA (which is free), you will receive notifications regarding calls to action in your state when they occur. (Disclosure: I am an unpaid CASAA board member.)

You can see all active CASAA calls to action on this page, below the map.

Arizona
Bill SB 1212
CASAA Call to Action

Florida
Bills H 1007 / S 1006
CASAA Call to Action

Hawaii
Bills SB 3385 / HB 2794

Indiana
Bill SB 227
CASAA Call to Action

Iowa
Bill SB 3101 / HSB 682
CASAA Call to Action

Maryland
Bills HB 1033 / SB 987
Bill HB 1197

Missouri
Bill HB 2211

Nebraska
Bill LB 1296 – also bans online sales
CASAA Call to Action

New Hampshire
Bill HB 1591
CASAA Call to Action

New York
Bill A 3404

Oklahoma
Bill HB 3971 – amends existing PMTA registry law to strengthen penalties

South Carolina
Bill S 994
CASAA Call to Action

South Dakota
Bill SB 116
CASAA Call to Action

Vermont
Bill HB 729

(Urgent: Vermont is currently holding hearings for bill S 18, which would ban the sale of all flavored vapes, nicotine pouches and smokeless tobacco. There is an active CASAA call to action for this flavor ban bill.)

Virginia
Bills HB 1069 / SB 550
CASAA Call to Action

Washington State
Bill SB 6118
CASAA Call to Action

West Virginia
Bills SB 545 / HB 5038

Other bills
CASAA has issued calls to action for several other bills in various states that are not PMTA registry bills. If you live in these states, please take action:

Why does Big Tobacco favor PMTA registries?

So far, the FDA has approved just seven e-liquid-based vaping devices (six of which are still being sold), as well as a few tobacco-flavored refill cartridges or pods. All are manufactured by the subsidiaries of three big tobacco firms.

The FDA is still investigating premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) for a wide range of devices, including Juul Labs' JUUL device and R.J. Reynolds' Vuse Alto, the most popular convenience store vape. PMTAs for nicotine pouches, including brands offered by Reynolds, Altria Group, and Philip Morris International, are currently being reviewed.

The items listed above would all be protected from enforcement in places with PMTA registration legislation. However, practically all other popular items, such as disposable vapes and bottled e-liquid, would be unlawful to sell. PMTA registry regulations make vape businesses easy targets for law enforcement, which is an aim of tobacco firms looking to shield their inferior vape goods from competition.

Aside from product eligibility, many small vape makers and retailers lack the financial and human resources to register hundreds or thousands of goods in different states. However, for tobacco corporations with tiny product options, office buildings full of staff, and billions of money in the bank, maintaining PMTA registration entries is a minor operational matter.

That’s why CASAA refers to vape registry laws as “big tobacco protection acts.”

R.J. Reynolds, the maker of Vuse, has been known to actively promote the establishment and implementation of PMTA register laws. It's unclear whether other major tobacco firms (or Juul) are actively advocating for the complete batch of current PMTA register laws, but according to vape industry advocate Nick Orlando, Altria and Juul Labs have both voiced support for the Florida registry measure.

Reynolds, which is now controlled by British American Tobacco, has a long history of using corporate influence to undermine independent vape makers and retailers. Reynolds wanted the FDA to restrict open-system (refillable) vapes and categorize vape shops as tobacco producers before finalizing its Deeming Rule, which granted the agency regulatory control over vaping goods.

In the last year, Reynolds and BAT have taken multiple actions to promote restrictions and bans on disposable vapes, which are now collectively Reynolds’ biggest convenience store vape competitors.

men - 1 About Author
"

Kevin S. is an experienced vape writer and collector of VaporBoss. I have been writing about disposables, e-liquids, and vape coils for half a decade now. With a commitment to accuracy and clarity, I guide readers through the maze of information, providing valuable insights for both beginners and experienced vapers. My writing not only demystifies the technical jargon, but also delves into the cultural nuances, trends, and regulations that shape the ever-evolving vaping community.

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