Kentucky Implements PMTA Registry Law: What It Means for Vaping Industry

In a move that significantly impacts the vaping industry, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 11 into law on April 5, 2024. The enactment of this legislation marks Kentucky as the sixth state to adopt a PMTA (Pre-Market Tobacco Application) registry law, following a trend that reflects growing concerns about the regulation of vaping products across the United States. 

The bill, which passed with relative ease through both chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly on March 28, is set to take effect on January 1, 2025. Its provisions establish strict regulations on the sale of vaping products within the state, aiming to ensure that only products authorized by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) are available to consumers. 

Under this new law, it will be illegal to sell vaping products that have not undergone the necessary regulatory processes. Specifically, products must either have received marketing authorization from the FDA, be under review by the agency, or be appealing a marketing denial order (MDO). Furthermore, if an MDO has been stayed or reversed by the FDA or a court, the product may still be eligible for sale. 

Manufacturers are mandated to certify each product's compliance with state requirements before allowing its distribution and sale within Kentucky. Additionally, the Kentucky Secretary of State will be responsible for compiling and maintaining a registry of authorized retailers permitted to sell vaping products in the state. Wholesalers are obliged to sell exclusively to these authorized retailers, with severe penalties imposed on violators at every level of the manufacturing-distribution-retail sales chain. 


Regulations Authored by Tobacco Industry 


Notably, the origins of House Bill 11 shed light on the political dynamics surrounding vaping regulation. The bill, like many others of its kind, was crafted and advocated for by Altria Group, the parent company of Marlboro cigarettes. Republican legislators, largely sponsored by Altria, championed the bill in the General Assembly. However, despite its corporate ties and initial backing by Republican lawmakers, the bill garnered bipartisan support and ultimately received Governor Beshear's approval. 

Critics argue that such regulations could stifle innovation within the vaping industry and limit access to combustible tobacco alternatives. 

As Kentucky joins the ranks of states with PMTA registry laws, stakeholders within the vaping industry must familiarize themselves with the new regulations. Manufacturers, retailers, and wholesalers operating in Kentucky must ensure compliance with FDA authorization requirements and state certifications to avoid hefty fines and penalties. 


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