Utah Governor Signs Flavor Ban and PMTA Registry Bill

Utah became the fifth U.S. state with a PMTA registry law and the sixth with a flavored vape ban when Governor Spencer Cox signed bill SB 61 into law Wednesday. The law will take effect Jan. 1, 2025.

PMTA registry bills are currently being debated in about two dozen other state legislatures. In Vermont, Virginia and Florida, registry bills have already been passed by state legislatures and sent to governors to sign or veto. The registry bills are written and promoted by tobacco giants Altria Group and R.J. Reynolds, which have lost significant cigarette sales revenue to unauthorized disposable vapes.

The Utah bill, which easily passed both houses of the State Legislature in February, adds further roadblocks to vaping consumers and businesses in a state with an already-complicated set of vape product restrictions. The law will:

·Ban the sale of vape products in flavors other than tobacco and menthol
·Ban the sale of products which have not either received FDA marketing authorization, or have premarket tobacco applications (PMTAs) still under review by the FDA
·Ban the sale of all unauthorized synthetic nicotine products (even those with pending PMTAs)
·Require manufacturers to submit the names of products they intend to sell, with proof they meet state requirements and a $1,000 fee per product, to the state by Aug. 1
·Create a list of state-approved products (a PMTA registry) by Oct. 1
·Ban the sale of all vape products not on the state registry beginning Jan. 1, 2025

The FDA has authorized just seven vaping devices (and tobacco-flavored refills for them). All of the FDA-authorized vapes are made by three Big Tobacco companies: Altria (NJOY), Reynolds (Vuse) or Japan Tobacco (Logic). The FDA has not granted marketing permission for any open-system (refillable) products, bottled e-liquid, or any product with a non-tobacco flavor.

The bill, its supporters say, will combat an “epidemic” of youth vaping in Utah. The bill’s sponsor, State Senator Jen Plumb—a medical doctor—claims she has personally seen Utah teenagers suffering from nicotine withdrawal in hospital emergency rooms.

Utah already bans online vape purchases by private individuals, and imposes nicotine-strength limitations on products sold in the state.

Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Wisconsin have also passed PMTA registry (or directory) laws. California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island have banned the sale of most flavored vapes.