This last July saw Indiana state legislatures interfering with the vaping industry. State regulations took effect in July, 2016, which required manufacturers of e-liquids to meet new security guidelines. This required any and all Indiana e-juice vendor to make and bottle their e-juice products (both nicotine and non-nicotine juices) at facilities that would meet these new state guidelines.
Unsurprisingly, money seems to be behind this decision — and politicians are best at scratching backs and expecting the same in return. How? Well, it just so happens that only one company in the state of Indiana meets the legislative requirements for vaping juice manufacturing: Mulhaupt’s Inc. located in Lafayette, Indiana.
And what else? Being the sole manufacturer means that the number of products sold in Indiana vape stores has went from hundreds to exactly seven. Talk about killing the industry.
This decision is fruitless as well as it is damaging to vape manufacturers. Having to spend the money to meet these production guidelines as well as other federal and state vaping regulations and taxes that have been created in the last year is nearly putting vaping out of business — just like the government wants.
People will do what we have always done — find a way around unfair, expensive, or detrimental governmental decisions in order to keep our pockets from getting robbed. This is why vape shop owners have said that vapers in Indiana seem to be taking the issue into their own hands in order to have the same rights as other vapers in other states, to not drain their pockets, and to be able to continue the much safer practice of vaping over cigarette smoking.
Many customers have gone over to Illinois in order to purchase their vape juice in order to find variety, avoid the extra costs, and get the flavors and/or the brands they want. The vape shops that are located in towns that border Indiana have confirmed this. One shop has stated that their business has picked up dramatically since August, 2016, because of new customers from Indiana. Bad for Indiana vape shops but good for Illinois owners, this particular shop saw an increase from 25 to 30 percent. A shop in Ohio that borders Indiana has also seen a 30 percent increase in business.
Many others have turned to a do-it-yourself (DIY) approach. This can be more dangerous since consumers do not know how they are making their juice or what they are putting in it. Even for consumers making their own e-juice and not selling it, they don’t likely have the experience, the environment, or the right materials to make a safe juice. If they get their math off, they could make themselves sick (nicotine sickness, poor juice materials, or incorrect liquids being used).
Many are also turning to the internet to find their products, but this often comes with fees, shipping costs, and the rising costs associated with government taxes and stringent regulations.
Regulations Bad for Everyone…Almost Everyone
These continuing regulations, taxes, and interference by state and federal governments has resulted in nothing but sky-high prices, dangerous cigarette smoking numbers, costlier health care, worse personal health for those who have to turn back to cigarette smoking, businesses closing down and unemployment rising, small and medium businesses going under, unhappy citizens, huge tax increases, and more corruption.
The only people who are benefitting from taxing and regulating vape products are — drumroll — the government, special interest groups, and regulation entities becoming involved in vaping. The government officials are recipients of “donations” from big tobacco all the time, and while the FDA regulates tobacco products, they make money off of this deal because they receive their grant money for both tobacco and the regulation of vaping.
Regulating these products have benefitted companies such as Mulhaupt’s Inc, which we described earlier as being the only facility that meets the new Indiana guidelines for vendors to make their e-juice in. What does this result in? A monopoly, of sorts. If you are an Indiana manufacturer of e-juice, you will have to either take your business to another state (which is not likely) or pay up whatever Mulhaupt’s Inc. asks for in fees and payment involved in making one’s vaping products there. This is likely to be too much for any small vaping business.
The insane taxes and regulation that the vaping industry faces is not actually helping anyone. This safer alternative to cigarettes is popular among those trying to quit smoking. This is decreasing diseases, cancers, and death. For those seeking to consume their nicotine in a way that will not kill them, such as vaping rather than chew or cigarettes, the rising costs and regulations are making it impossible for many to continue.
If a person does not have the proper equipment and know-how to make their own vaping products, it can be extremely dangerous. But just like the U.S. prohibition of alcohol in the 20s and 30s, while vaping is not prohibited, it may as well be with all of the action taken against it by the government.
These monetary and regulatory decisions will only destroy consumer’s health and be a danger to public health. But politicians and special interests groups will do what they will always do — scratch each other’s backs for money, power, and another term in office.
The Good News
The good news is that is illegal vaping law is being investigated by the FBI due to the unsurprising connection between Mulhaupt’s CEO and special interest groups who were responsible for creating this ban on selling e-juice that isn’t made from the sole “approved” institution.