As more teens turn to vaping, Utah lawmakers work to develop legislation to curb e-cig sales to minors

<span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>As electronic cigarette use rises among teens, state lawmakers in Utah join other parts of the country <a href=”http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865620779/Utah-lawmakers-hear-latest-plea-for-tighter-regulations-steeper-tax-on-e-cigarettes.html?pg=all” target=”_blank”>in finding solutions to address the problem.</a></span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>The sale of e-cigarettes and their more complex vapor pen counterparts to minors is illegal in Utah and other states. But this hasn’t stopped many teens from using the products on a regular basis.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>According to Brian Bennion, director of the Weber-Morgan Health Department, one in five teens in 8th, 10th and 12 grades use e-cigarettes on a regular basis. Bennion was one of the experts called to speak to the Social Services Appropriations Subcommittee on Friday, Jan. 30.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>A national survey from the University of Michigan, entitled “Monitoring the Future,” reported that almost 9% of 8th graders and more than 16% of 10th and 12th graders had used e-cigarettes sometime in the previous 30 days.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>The devices, <a href=”http://www.vapor4life.com/blog/four-tips-prolonging-life-vaping-batteries/”>which were first introduced in the 1960s</a> but didn’t become popular until the past decade, are made with a “e-liquid” or “e-juice,” which produces the smokeless vapor. These e-liquids are available in fruity, candy flavors and varieties like chocolate and vanilla, which could explain their appeal to teens.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>State legislators in Utah don’t want to ban the devices outright, though, said Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs. “I’m not about to make a knee-jerk decision that will end up restricting the freedoms of people.”</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>But the state aims to make it more difficult for teens to get their hands on these products and wants to impose penalties on vendors of e-cigarettes and vaping paraphernalia who are caught selling the items to minors.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield would like to see a statewide smoking ban. In previous years, he helped pass a law to restrict the sale of traditional cigarettes to minors.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>E-cigarettes, however, are a growing worry, and other lawmakers voice medical concerns, as well.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>Rep. Ray Ward, R-Bountiful, who is also a physician, said that he has seen more teens become addicted to these products than he has seen adults use the product to quit smoking. The e-liquid in these products contains nicotine, which is addictive whether it’s a tobacco or electronic cigarette, said Ward.</span><br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <br style=”margin: 0px; padding: 0px; color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;” /> <span style=”color: #000000; font-family: ‘normal Arial’,Verdana,sans-serif; font-size: 12px;”>Ray has requested a bill to address the “regulation and taxation of e-cigarettes,” but lawmakers are currently working to introduce such legislation.</span>

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