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Official says proposed regulations could bankrupt e-cigarette industry

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Posted at 10:00 PM, May 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-22 00:00:38-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Could the FDA's proposed regulations on the e-cigarette industry bankrupt a booming business? Utah Vapers says yes.

On Wednesday, Utah lawmakers asked for more restrictions. Lawmakers are sending a letter to the FDA, asking for tougher regulations while Utah Vapers is asking for more time to try and change their minds.

"Is Captain Crunch and cotton candy, are those appropriate flavors?" asked Representative Paul Ray, who proposed legislation to regulate how e-cigarettes are advertised and sold during the session. The bill failed, but in April the FDA released its own proposed guidelines.

"If adults use e-cigarettes, that's their choice. It's the kids," Ray said.

In a letter to the FDA, Rep. Ray will be asking the federal government to impose even stricter rules on how electronic cigarettes are marketed.

"To come back and say this is a safe alternative to cigarettes is completely a bold face lie," he said.

"I'm happy to see there are going to be some market restrictions," said Aaron Frazier of Utah Vapers. He said he supports any regulation that keeps e-cigs out of teens' hands. "Where we really run into problems with these regulations, is with the details."

Frazier said the FDA's string of proposed regulations include forcing businesses to register the vapors it sells. The price tag? $15,000 for every flavor.

"I'm very concerned with what this could potentially do if the regulations get enacted as they are today," he said. "What that's going to do is that is going to shut down, just in the state of Utah, over 50 Main Street businesses who employ a total of around 600 employees around the state."

The 75 day comment period the FDA gave the public end in late June.