Senate adjourns without considering more stringent vape oversight and enforcement

The Alabama Senate adjourned the 2024 session without considering legislation that would have further regulated vaping in Alabama, increased enforcement and penalties for under-age vaping and prohibited nicotine alternatives or delivery systems from being sold in vending machines.

The Senate Children and Youth Health Committee on April 4 had amended the 39-page bill by Rep. Barbara Drummond, D-Mobile, which was on a Senate special order calendar for the final legislative day, May 9. The Senate never adopted the calendar.

Drummond’s bill also would have added battery-powered devices that deliver substances other than tobacco through the inhalation of vapor to the definition of electronic nicotine delivery system. Earlier this session, the House amended the bill to remove THC oil from the list of substances covered by the bill. CBD oil, herbal extracts and nicotine salts remain in the legislation.

The bill’s fiscal note indicated it would have created $805,000 more annually in enforcement costs that will be offset by a one-time $50 filing fee, a $150 annual permit fee and a $50 transfer fee for the state’s 8,000 permitted distributors. Under current law, there is no fee. The new fees were expected to generate $900,000 annually.

The bill also carried graduated consequences for students, an administrative penalty for advertising as well as vaping education for violators and their parents. The bill also would have prohibited teachers and support personnel from vaping on campus in front of students.

HB65 was similar to Drummond’s 2023 bill, which also died in the Senate on the final day of the 2023 regular session. The Alabama Senate debated but did not take a vote on the 2023 bill.

The state of Alabama first began oversight and regulation of those who sell vape and other alternate nicotine products in August of 2019. That law was last amended in 2021.

“Battery-powered” devices carrying a variety of substances added to the 21-or-over requirement as of Oct. 1

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