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WARNING: This product contains nicotine. Nicotine is an addictive chemical.

Iowa Senate Passes PMTA Registry Bill

On April 3, the Iowa General Assembly passed PMTA Registry Bill HB 26771“Iowa HF2677 | 2023-2024 | 90th General Assembly,” LegiScan. https://legiscan.com/IA/bill/HF2677/2023. Following that success, the Senate approved the bill on April 19, with a vote of 42-4. Now, vape manufacturers are on the edge of their seats, waiting for Governor Kim Reynolds to either approve or veto the bill. 

The bill will: 

  • Create a directory of approved products by Oct. 1, 2024
  • Ban the sale of all vaping products except those that were on the market by Aug. 8, 2016, subject to PMTAs submitted to the FDA by Sept. 9, 2020
  • Demand a $100 annual fee for each listed, approved product 
  • Set out a list of fines for manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers who violate the rules

If the bill is successful, Iowa will follow Utah, which recently became the 5th state to approve a PMTA Registry law. So far, Alabama, Louisiana, and Oklahoma have active PMTA registries. 

Earlier this year, I reported on the dilemma of PMTA registry bills. To legally sell vape products, vape manufacturers must provide evidence of a pending PMTA or a Market Granted Order (MGO) from the FDA.

Supposedly, PMTA registries pave the way for individual states to gain a newfound level of control over vape products and ban illegal disposables once and for all. However, registries support the interests of two key players in the vape industry: Altria Group and R.J. Reynolds. 

As of today, the FDA has only approved 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices, including NJOY (owned by Altria) and Vuse (owned by Reynolds). Despite this apparent edge over the competition, the vape behemoths were no doubt frustrated to find that the FDA’s rules had little impact on the wider vape landscape. 

With their hopes of dominating the newly regulated vape market dwindling, Altria and R.J. Reynolds took an offensive approach to the competition. 

R.J. Reynolds has been known to throw its proverbial weight around in an attempt to bring illegal vape manufacturers and retailers to justice, and Altria hit the headlines for filing a broad litigation suit that included 34 foreign and domestic manufacturers known for illegally selling vape products2“NJOY Brings Sweeping Litigation Against Illicit Disposable Vapor Manufacturers,” investor.altria.com. https://investor.altria.com/press-releases/news-details/2023/NJOY-Brings-Sweeping-Litigation-Against-Illicit-Disposable-Vapor-Manufacturers/default.aspx#:~:text=(Altria)%20announces%20today%20its%20operating

Despite claims that the recent lawsuits are born of concerns for public health, it seems clear that both companies are taking advantage of their relatively stable position. By pushing illegal products out of the market, Altria and R.J. Reynolds can reap the benefits of distributing their small selection of FDA-approved products. 

While the public awaits Governor Reynolds’ decision, the Consumer Advocates for Smoke-free Alternatives Association (CASAA) has updated its call to action to “Stop a Big Tobacco protection act!”3“IOWA – Stop a Big Tobacco Protection Act!,” CASAA. https://casaa.org/call-to-action/iowa-stop-a-big-tobacco-protection-act/

According to CASAA, if the bill passes it will “effectively make the state of Iowa an enforcement arm of the Food and Drug Administration, empowering state authorities to enforce the disastrous federal anti-vaping regulations.” 
In the past, Reynolds has expressed concerns over the number and severity of respiratory illnesses caused by vaping4S. Gruber-Miller, “Kim Reynolds calls vaping illnesses ‘alarming,’ says state must educate about risks,” The Des Moines Register. https://eu.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2019/10/03/kim-reynolds-vaping-illnesses-thc-nicotine-tobacco-e-cigarette-educate-risks/3850894002/. She also spearheaded a campaign to spread awareness about the dangers of vaping5lynn.meadows, “Gov. Reynolds launches public awareness campaign to combat youth vaping,” Johnston Community School District, Dec. 11, 2019. https://www.johnstoncsd.org/news/2019/12/gov-reynolds-launches-public-awareness-campaign-combat-youth-vaping/ in conjunction with the Iowa Department of Education. If history is anything to go by, Iowa could soon be the next state to implement a PMTA Registry law.


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Lexi Burgess
Lexi Burgess
I keep my ear to the ground to report on Vaping, emerging health research, and new vape legislation. When the ever-changing landscape of the vape industry isn’t on my mind, I play badminton and read old horror novels.
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