• July 21, 2024

North Carolina Governor Signs Vape Registry Bill

 North Carolina Governor Signs Vape Registry Bill

Credit: Katherine Welles

Credit: Katherine Welles

Under a bipartisan bill Gov. Roy Cooper signed into law this week, North Carolina will have a new registry that could lead to the removal of many vaping products from store shelves.

The law would allow only the sale of products authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  The directory of products would be under the North Carolina Dept. of Revenue.

Stores will have a 60-day grace period after the directory is available to come into compliance. After that, repeat violators could face fines and have their licenses suspended or revoked.

“The vaping epidemic is quite the Wild West, particularly in high school,” said state Rep. Erin Pare (R-Wake). “That’s why this bill passed with broad bipartisan support. It brings order, enforcement, accountability, and transparency to a growing problem.”

The bill faced opposition from some operators of convenience stores, who worry it will have a negative impact on their revenue. Ches McDowell, who represents a group of Asian-American convenience store owners, warned it could also lead to lost jobs.

The Vapor Technology Association also urged Cooper to veto the bill, calling the FDA’s process illegal and saying the measure is “propping up cigarettes and hurting public health.”

Representatives of the tobacco industry advocated for the bill as it moved through committees in the state legislature, including Susan Vick, who lobbies for Reynolds American. She told lawmakers about visiting a store in Raleigh and finding many products from China, according to media reports.

Pare said the new law will help remove unregulated products from overseas and reduce the prevalence of products that appear to be marketed to young people.

“We don’t really know what’s in them,” she said.

The law takes effect on Dec. 1. The directory is expected to be available in early 2025.