On February 19th, 2010, the Utah House of Representatives voted unanimously to approve a bill that restricts the sale of electronic cigarettes. The same bill also makes harsher penalties for those who use or attempt to obtain a fake driver’s license. The bill is one of the first of its kind in the United States to specifically focus on restricting the sale of e cigs which are mostly purchased through the Internet. The bill will now be sent to the Utah senate for voting.
What is Utah House Bill 88 (HB 88)?
HB88 was one of four Utah House bills that target new tobacco products and e cigs specifically brought up in the Utah legislature. The bill is sponsored by Ronda Rudd Menlove, a republican from Garland. One of the catalysts of moving forward with the Utah bill was the concern that electronic cigarettes are marketed towards children. In parallel, state representatives also highlighted the dangerous impact of toddlers being exposed to the droplets of nicotine contained in the e liquid used to create the vapor smoke in e cigs.
Is the State of Utah Motivation to Restrict E Cigs Beyond Safety?
We would like to think that the stat of Utah is purely motivated to look out for consumer safety with their e cig legislation. With electronic cigarettes being used almost exclusively by traditional tobacco smokers, every smoker that switches to e cigs in the state will result in a drop of just under $.70 a packet in state cigarette tax currently realized on traditional tobacco sales. Ignored is the fact that e cigs do not contain the numerous toxins found in traditional tobacco. Also missing is a scientific discussion on the facts behind the difference in hazards of each product to include potential health benefits of e cigs.
It will be interesting to see if the Utah bill passes through the state senate as quickly as it did the house and what if any indication this will show for other state government intentions on handling electronic cigarette regulation.
Read the Utah E Cig Regulatory Bill