INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Despite no debate in Indiana chambers, online tobacco sales for electronic cigarettes might be added to a bill.
Right now, the legislature is working on a bill aimed at e-liquids. After passing legislation last year that impacted state manufacturers, legislators are looking to change the rules.
“We have to make sure that if there is something out there that it’s safe, that it’s reliable, that it does the job that it’s supposed to do,” State Sen. Randy Head (R-Logansport) said. “If it can’t do the job, or it’s not as reliable as people are telling us, than we won’t do it.”
Critics worry online sales could appeal to young people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said young adults are the biggest e-cigarette users, with minors right behind.
“Me and my wife just had to put regulations on my son’s phone so he can’t buy certain music online, or certain videos,” State Sen. Gregory Taylor (D-Indianapolis) said. “These children are getting access to a lot of things that we don’t want them to have access to, and this is just going to add to it.”
The e-liquids bill passed both the House, and Senate, but changes were made. To reach compromise, a committee spoke in front of a packed room Tuesday. In addition to online sales, lawmakers are debating how to regulate out-of-state manufacturers.
“They’re going to be able to make this stuff in another state and send it here for consumption by consumers here in Indiana,” State Sen. Taylor said. “I don’t know how that’s protective of Hoosiers.”
“We’re not allowed to impose restrictions on out of state manufacturers,” State Sen. Head said. “We’re not allowed to burden out of state commerce. That really is the issue with that idea, of burdening out of state commerce.”
Republicans said they’re not far apart on differences, but they will have to decide whether to include online sales on the bill that’ll go before each chamber.
“I guess I’m surprised to learn you can buy cigarettes online,” State Sen. Head said. “But it’s something that we have to look into and something we need to get nailed down over the next two weeks.”
If a compromise is reached in the conference committee, the proposal will head to the House and Senate for vote. If both chambers approve it, the bill will go to the governor’s desk.