Baton Rouge, LA (KPEL News) - It's on. It's off. It's on hold. That's been the messaging from the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) since the Legislature passed and the governor signed House Bill 635 in 2023, an act that bans the sale of vape and nicotine-alternative products. But the crackdown is beginning again.

Not only did the law ban these unapproved items, it imposed an excise tax triple the rate on purchases.

Social media and in-person chatter flew when October 1, 2023, arrived and vape products started disappearing from convenience store and smoke shop shelves.

Then there was a big pause.

The Louisiana Convenience Store and Vape Association sued, essentially saying the ban would destroy their businesses and create a hardship. At that point, an injunction was granted that suspended the law until a hearing could be held in February.

READ MORE: Louisiana Vape Retailers Challenge Law

Apparently, the association was not successful in its attempts.

Under the law, the ATC must maintain a Vape Directory that includes the vendor name. Each vendor must apply for a permit for each product that they sell. Additionally, they must submit a $100 fee for every tobacco-alternative product.

To date, there are nearly 500 products on the Vape Directory.

A news release issued Tuesday from the Louisiana Department of Revenue, on behalf of the ATC, announced:

Effective March 18, 2024, the prohibition of the sale, offer for sale, or possession by retail dealers or wholesalers of vapor or alternative nicotine products not listed in the VAPE directory will be enforced. Businesses are required to remove prohibited products from inventory and display.

Expect the counters in convenience stores to start emptying in the near future.

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