Victory for vapers as Indiana courts overturn vape law

The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned major parts of the Indiana vaping law

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Indiana vapers will be able to buy e-liquid made in other states again, and the manufacturers won’t have to play by the bizarre rules imposed in the Hoosier State.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a ruling by the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana. The appeals court said that Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the district court got it wrong when she dismissed the lawsuit, brought last year by the Right To Be Smoke Free Coalition and Legato Vapors.

The new ruling prevents Indiana from forcing its standards on manufacturers from other states. The decision was issued by a three-judge panel, with Judge David Hamilton writing for the court.

“Imposing these Indiana laws on out-of-state manufacturers violates the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution."

“The Act is written so as to have extraterritorial reach that is unprecedented, imposing detailed requirements of Indiana law on out-of-state manufacturing operations,” wrote Hamilton. “The Act regulates the design and operation of out-of-state production facilities, including requirements for sinks, cleaning products, and even the details of contracts with outside security firms and the qualifications of those firms’ personnel. Imposing these Indiana laws on out-of-state manufacturers violates the dormant Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.”

The ruling only applies to out-of-state manufacturers however. Vape shops and Indiana e-liquid manufacturers still need a change to the law to allow in-state production of e-juice. Sen. Randy Head’s SB 1, a bill that overhauls the bizarre 2015 law, is in committee and is expected to pass through the legislature rapidly. SB 1 is supported by Indiana businesses and advocates.

The Right To Be Smoke Free Coalition was formed to fight the Indiana law, then later became a plaintiff in a major suit challenging the FDA’s deeming regulations. R2B retained the services of Washington, D.C. legal firm Keller and Heckman, LLC. Keller partner Azim Chowdhury is recognized as an expert in vapor products law, and he has handled the vaping cases, along with Eric Gotting.

The R2B/Nicopure suit is still being considered by Judge Amy Berman Jackson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It’s expected that whichever way she rules, the losing side will appeal the decision.

Jim McDonald

I spend most of my time studying the regulatory, legislative and scientific challenges to vaping, advocating for our right to exist, and talking with others who do the same. Consider me a source for information, and feel free to agree or disagree with anything I say. I love good coffee and sweet Michigan cherries. My childhood hero was Gordie Howe.