Louisiana Starts to Ban Unapproved Vape Products

Louisiana unapproved vape products ban

The Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) has announced that it will begin enforcing the ban on non-FDA-approved vape products starting Monday, March 18th. This decision comes after a period of legal uncertainty, during which a preliminary injunction temporarily halted the enforcement of the ban.

Vape Stores Caught in the Crossfire

For vape store owners and managers like Jalyne Brazzell of X-hale City, the constantly changing regulations have been a source of frustration. “We do what they say. If they say take them off, we take them off. If they say we can sell them again, we put them back up,” Brazzell said, highlighting the challenges faced by businesses in the industry.

Customers have also expressed their displeasure with the government’s control over vape products, with Brazzell noting that many are “very angry” and “upset.”

Legal Battle Continues

The ban on non-FDA-approved vape products was initially passed as part of a law last year, which stipulated that only vape products approved by the FDA could be sold in Louisiana. However, the Louisiana Convenience and Vape Commission filed a lawsuit, resulting in a preliminary injunction in January that temporarily stopped the ATC from enforcing the ban.

A trial is set to begin in April, according to 19th Judicial Court records. In the meantime, the ATC has announced its intention to resume enforcement of the vape ban on March 18th, citing “legal maneuvering” as the basis for this decision.

Impact on Vape Businesses

For vape store owners like Brazzell, the ban has had a significant impact on their business. She estimates that nearly 65% of their sales come from products that are now banned, and the constant changes in regulations have made it difficult for businesses to recover.

“Since the whole ban started, it completely dropped sales. Even when we get them back, people don’t even really know when we get them back, so business hasn’t really picked up since,” Brazzell explained.

Fines for Non-Compliance

In addition to the ban on non-FDA-approved vape products, retailers and manufacturers who display or sell products not listed on the state’s V.A.P.E. Directory will face a $1,000 fine for each day that each non-compliant product is available or displayed until it is removed or added to the directory.

Sam, the owner of Blazin Cloudz vape shop, believes that the restriction is an attempt to crack down on vaping, and he is uncertain whether he will be able to sell his remaining inventory before the ban takes effect. “There’s no way we’ll be able to sell what we have in a couple of days, but we’ll try,” he said.

As the legal battle continues and the enforcement of the ban looms, vape store owners and customers alike are left to navigate an uncertain future in Louisiana’s vaping industry.

Matthew Ma