UTAH COUNTY – Utah County Health Department approved a measure to restrict e-cigarettes and similar products.
The restrictions will require stores that sell e-cigarettes to register for a permit with the health department.
Officials say the new system will create accountability and help prevent stores from selling to under-aged buyers.
“These are very popular items used by under-aged individuals, teenagers particularly. And we are trying to make sure their use is restricted,” said Dr. Joseph Miner, director of the Utah County Health Department.
The regulations also require nicotine products be produced under sanitary conditions, with a reliable content of nicotine on the label. It will also require nicotine liquids to have child-proof caps.
“Nicotine is really a deadly poison and it would not be difficult for a child to get a flavored container of this nicotine, that's flavored with bubble gum or cheese cake, and drink this vial and obtain a lethal dose and actually die from the liquid,” Miner said.
Leaders in the vapor industry agree there needs to be some level of regulation, but they would prefer statewide laws that would make restrictions equal for everyone.
At this point vape shops and manufacturers are working with city and county governments.
“What Davis County, what Utah County, Salt Lake County is doing, we actually have standards that are above and beyond that” said Aaron Frazier, executive director of Utah Smoke-Free Association, a non-profit that promotes the vapor industry. “So it's something we are very used to and we are trying to work very closely with everyone to make sure it makes sense for not only the industry but the health of consumers as well.”
The restrictions immediately went into effect, but there will be a grace period for businesses to come into compliance.