The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) has published its new V.A.P.E. Directory, an official registry of approved vape and alternative nicotine products permitted for sale in the state. Popular disposable brands like Elf Bar are absent from the list, effectively banning their retail sale in Louisiana.
The ATC directory contains 397 vaping products which have met the regulatory requirements to be sold in Louisiana. Major brands like JUUL, various nicotine pouch products, and BIDI stick devices appear on the approved list.
The directory results from legislation sponsored by State Representative Paul Hollis (R-Covington) intended to increase oversight and regulation of vape products in Louisiana, especially those perceived to lack safety standards and FDA approval.
“This registry is going to make sure these products are as safe as they possibly can be,” Rep. Hollis said in a statement. He argued many vape goods currently on shelves have inadequate regulation around ingredients and possible health impacts.
Glaringly missing from the approved list are trendy disposable vape products like Elf Bar, which have surged in popularity nationwide recently, especially among youth.
“They can take a bucket of chemicals from China, mix them with fragrances, and call them Elf Bars to appeal to children,” Rep. Hollis alleged, pointing to weak safety protocols among certain disposable vape manufacturers.
By omitting these viral products from the exclusive registry, the directory effectively bans their retail sale anywhere statewide. Retailers found selling unlisted vape goods could face penalties.
The Louisiana Vape Association trade group has indicated plans to file a legal challenge against the law, arguing it is unconstitutional in limiting choice for retailers and adult consumers.
But Rep. Hollis believes any lawsuit will fail, since the state has authority to prohibit the sale of vape products without FDA approval due to health concerns related to youth usage.
Alongside creating the product registry, Louisiana also newly enacted a tax increase on vape liquids, going from 5 cents per milliliter to 15 cents per milliliter. Revenue from the new vape tax will help fund state police salaries.
While the registry remains controversial among some vaping advocates, sponsors insist it represents a necessary public health measure to ensure safety and prevent youth access to potent, addictive nicotine vape products perceived as unregulated.
Click here to see the latest list of approved vape products.