Act Now to Stop South Dakota Vape Sales Ban

As a vape wholesaler or reseller, your business is now in peril. PMTA Registry Laws are a de facto vape ban designed to put marketplace rivals to Big Tobacco out of business and leave their more expensive and lower-margin products as the last vape standing.

Dubbed the Big Tobacco Protection Act, this de facto vape ban has arrived in South Dakota.

PLEASE CLICK THE CALL TO ACTION IMAGE BELOW OR HERE. THE PMTA REGISTRY BILL SCHEME IS DESIGNED TO REMOVE CONSUMER CHOICE BY BANNING PRODUCTS FROM THE INDEPENDENT VAPE INDUSTRY AND WILL LEAVE BIG TOBACCO WITH A MONOPOLY. 

South Dakota CASAA Call to Action

You can also use the Legislator Lookup to find who represents you and let them know that you vape, you vote, and that this scheme will destroy jobs and lives.

SOUTH DAKOTA SB 116: VAPE BAN

South Dakota Senate Bill 116 (SB 116) is a classic “PMTA Registry” law. Similar versions are hitting every statehouse in the nation thanks to the lobbying of the tobacco industry. SB 116 has been introduced and referred to the Senate Committee Health and Human Services. 

These laws are carefully crafted and turn state governments into an enforcement arm for the FDA. They are not a pure distillation of the FDA's failed policies. 

The tobacco industry products that will still be permitted under PMTA Registry Laws have not received PMTA authorization either.

If the FDA were to issue an MDO against them, all vapes would be barred from the market. The Vuse Alto is no more approved by the FDA than an Elf Bar. 

When: February 14th, before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee in Room 412 of the South Dakota State Capitol from 7:45 AM to 9:45 AM.

What SB 116 Entails:

  • A de facto total ban on the sale of all disposable vaping products and products containing non-tobacco nicotine (synthetic nicotine).
  • Protects Big Tobacco from competition in the vapor product market. Both Altria and R.J. Reynolds, which support these bills, have blamed disposables for falling sales of combustible cigarettes.
  • The bill proposes the creation of a PMTA registry. Products that applied for marketing authorization from the Food and Drug Administration afterSeptember 9, 2020, would NOT be allowed to be sold in South Dakota. The most popular disposable products sold today applied for PMTAs in 2022 or after, so all these products would be prohibited.
  • Annual certification and a $500 fee per vapor product type sold in the state. The few companies that produce e-liquids still pending PMTAs from 2020 are unlikely to pay $500 per product.
  • Heavy penalties for misrepresentation and non-compliance, including misdemeanor charges and civil penalties of $1,000 per day for each non-listed product sold.

Impact on Your Business

  • Disproportionate Burden: Small to medium-sized vape businesses will face overwhelming financial and operational burdens due to extensive documentation and fees required.
  • Threat to Business Viability: Over 90% of vaping products sold in stores today would become illegal, potentially forcing many businesses to close.
  • Boost to Illicit Markets: The stringent regulations could drive consumers towards unregulated markets, compromising public health and safety while undermining legitimate businesses.
  • Inhibits Innovation: The bill disproportionately affects disposable vaping products and stifles innovation in the vaping industry.
  • Native American tribes: The bill gives no indication that it will be enforced on tribal lands.

What Can You Do?

  • Attend the Committee Meeting: If you can make it to Pierre, voice your opposition at the Senate Health and Human Services Committee meeting on February 14, 2024.
  • Contact Your Senators: Reach out to Senators Tobin, Davis, Bordeaux, Hoffman, Novstrup, Reed, and Rohl, urging them to oppose SB 116 (see below for an email list – a simple message explaining that you are a South Dakota business owner and opposed to SB 116 would be great) . Also, reach out personally to your South Dakota State Representative and State Senator to voice your opposition to this bill. Ask them for a phone call and be respectful!
  • Consumer Activation: Direct consumers to CASAA’s Call To Action so they can send emails.
  • Join our Zoom call: Email Gregory Conley at gconley@theavm.org to get access to Zoom calls and updates as this bill moves through the legislative process. We will be holding one tonight (Tuesday, February 13th) at 9 pm Eastern.
  • Time Is Of the Essence: This bill must pass the Senate by February 21st and be sent to the Governor by March 25th. Act now!

Your voice is crucial in this fight. Together, we can safeguard our businesses and the rights of consumers across South Dakota.

Criticisms of PMTA Registry Bills

  1. Structured so that the tobacco industry’s vape products remain on market, despite also not having received PMTA authorization, while barring their less expensive competition.
  2. Serves as a flavor ban, denying adult vapers the flavors they prefer. An FDA funded study found cigarette sales increase in areas with flavor bans.
  3. Bars easy to use disposable vapes, which are ideal for initiates and not coincidentally compete head-to-head with prefilled pod kits made by Big Tobacco.
  4. Harms small businesses, vape shops and convenience stores, by removing high-volume and profitable products while leaving lower margin tobacco industry vapes on shelves.
  5. Contrary to spirit of consumer choice and entrepreneurship, barring products released after 2016. 

PMTA Registry Laws

PMTA Registry Laws are worded so that Big Tobacco’s products, the commercially viable models having not received PMTA authorization either, are still permitted for sale while rival products are barred from the state in every form and criminalized.

Big Tobacco is unwilling to provide higher margin products to businesses for resale or lower cost products per consumer, charging several times more per ml than their rivals. With unchecked control of the market, it is reasonable to assume these prices, and reseller profit margins, will continue to shrink. 

PRICE OF PREFILLED DEVICES

Your business is at stake and must make your voice heard. Big Tobacco’s vape products are lower margin products that simply are not as popular. If they could compete on a level field of play, they would not have to lobby for laws that create a monopoly and criminalize the competition. 

Consumer Freedom

A legally enforced monopoly will provide the tobacco industry with the freedom to raise prices further and the profit margin for resellers.  

Every popular disposable will be gone from the market if this passes, leaving Vuse, Juul and MyBlu as the only option for inhaled nicotine products. Other than cigarettes. 

A recent FDA study showed that flavor bans increase cigarette sales. Vape shop owners have seen firsthand how many customers have benefitted from alternative vaping products. The crime should be funneling these loyal adult customers back onto cigarettes not providing adults with access to vapes in the flavors they prefer.

The tobacco industry has been unwilling or unable to compete with the independent vape industry in terms of price and innovation. Youth vaping rates have fallen every year since 2019, and the odds of a national flavor ban that would only benefit the tobacco industry seem more remote than ever.

Consumer freedom, entrepreneurship, customer choice and your pocketbook will take a huge hit if the South Dakota Vape Sales Ban is to pass.