A strict new vape law goes into effect on Nov. 1 in Louisiana. It will require every vapor product manufacturer to register their products with the Louisiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC).
Store owners say the impact could be devastating for sales since fewer vape products will occupy shelf space as products not approved by the ATC can not be legally sold in the state.
“Every store will take about a 30, 40 percent hit. It will impact us not only through sales but also through payroll, keeping up with our expenses, different things like that will definitely affect business in a worse way than we could imagine,” Lit Vape and Smoke Owner Bilal Wardariya told KPLCTV.
The legislation stemmed from a bill to increase the vape tax, which tripled this year, but Wardariya said limiting the usage of vapes is taking it too far.
“I think this vape ban negatively impacts the state in many different ways, not just people, but the state itself because we give so much tax revenue. As a whole, I’d like to see this thing get resolved and hopefully, we can still sell and keep the same process we’ve been having for many many years,” he said.
Other vape shops in the area agree that it will affect business but believe the state and customers will suffer as well.
“We pay thousands of dollars in taxes between all of our stores, so they’re going to lose that, and it affects our customers because a lot of them genuinely need this to stop smoking cigarettes and stuff,” Smoke 360 Manager Joshua Snyder said.
For the products to be considered by the ATC, a $100 application fee per product is required as well as approval by the FDA. A list of those approved will be released on Nov. 1.
To date, the FDA has authorized 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices, which are the only e-cigarettes that currently may be lawfully sold or distributed in the U.S. Many of those products are outdated and all are owned by major tobacco companies.