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New Ecig Regulations in Utah Could Eliminate 80 Percent of Eliquids

Beginning in 2016, new e-cigarette rules in Utah could effectively ban up to 80 percent of eliquids. The new law would require a warning label on all e-liquids that states, “Nicotine is addictive and poisonous. Keep away from children and pets.” While the idea seems simple enough, local vape shops said it would be detrimental to business.

Utah Smoke Free Association president Tad Jansen said that 80 percent of the eliquids sold in Utah are imported from manufacturers in other states or other countries. These manufacturers are largely not willing to comply with the proposed labeling requirement because it will cost them money. With growing opposition from local businesses and vaping advocates, some lawmakers are pushing for a delay on the labeling requirement. According to Democratic Senator Gene Davis, “This rule is not ready for prime time.”

Republican Senator Mark Madsen said the labeling restriction would ultimately do little to help public health and it would ultimately only damage local businesses. “I’m not hearing any openness to a solution or flexibility that gets us to the objective,” said Madsen, “without having these tremendous collateral consequences.”

Robert Rolfs, the Health Department Deputy Director, said that the new rule won’t be enforced until July 2016, giving ample time for companies to adjust their printing process and create labels with adequate warnings. Local Tobacco Prevention and Control Program president, Janae Duncan, warned that all marketing efforts would have to be changed after the proposed rule goes into place.

While local eliquid manufacturers agreed to comply and put the proposed warning label on eliquids, companies out of state might not be willing to take on the additional expense to satisfy a law in only one state. In addition to a warning label, the labels must be sealed in tamper-resistant and childproof packaging and have a limited nicotine concentration. Manufacturers must maintain records that can be inspected by state regulators and comply with all of the federal safety guidelines.

Do you think Utah lawmakers should hold off on these eliquid requirements until the FDA issues nationwide regulations? Will this policy ultimately only damage the state’s small businesses?

Electronic Cigarettes • April 5, 2017

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