Officials in the state of Utah are pushing for new ecig regulations that could have disastrous consequences. Ecig advocates believe that the proposed rule is so strict that it would result in as many as 80 percent of the e-liquids being banned for sale in the state. With such fierce opposition to this rule, the Health Department could be forced to reconsider its approach.
The proposed guidelines would require that all eliquids have child-proof packaging and warning labels that state, “Nicotine is addictive and poisonous. Keep away from children and pets.”
Tad Jansen has extensive experience in the ecig industry as owner of a Utah vape shop and president of the Utah Smoke Free Association. He sells various e-liquids in his shop that would be impacted by the proposed new rule. He said that if this rule goes into effect, up to 80 percent of the e-liquids that he sells would potentially be banned. This is because the e-liquids are mostly produced overseas and out of state. He contacted several of these manufacturers about the new labeling requirements to gauge their willingness to comply. But the vast majority said that they would not create the required warning labels just to satisfy Utah’s officials because of the significant increase in production costs.
Jansen and other vape shop owners have appealed to the Administrative Rules Review Committee to reconsider their approach on the ecig labeling. Even lawmakers are starting to speak out about the proposed changes, cautioning health regulators to slow down and rethink the rules. According to Democratic Senator Gene Davis, “This rule is not ready for prime time.”
Robert Rolfs, the Health Department Deputy Director, argued that eliquid manufacturers will have sufficient time to adjust their labeling procedures since the rules won’t be enforced until July 2016. He feels this gives them ample time to make adjustments or for the legislators to make changes to the proposed rule. He also said that this proposal has more support than dissent.
For now, Utah ecig fans are encouraged to contact their local lawmakers and ask for the rule to be revoked. Otherwise, 80 percent of the top selling eliquids could disappear from the shelves permanently.