E-cigarette bills to be heard this week

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah could become the first state in the nation to pass e-cigarette legislation under a bill being considered this week.

Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield, is sponsoring HB 112, which would place regulations on vaping shops and e-cigarettes. It is scheduled to be heard before a House committee on Wednesday.

"We're just trying to keep them out of the hands of kids and I think that's what you'll see in the legislation," said Ray.

The bill would regulate the "juice" in e-cigarettes, manufacturing processes, ban Internet sales and prohibit vaping shops from claiming the products can be used as smoking cessation devices.

The federal government has yet to weigh in on e-cigarettes. Recently, TV advertisements for RJ Reynolds' version of an e-cigarette began airing on stations in Salt Lake City, which is a "test market" for them.

Many local health departments have been pushing for regulation of e-cigarettes. The Weber-Morgan Health Department has said the Ogden area has the highest youth adoption rates for e-cigarettes in the state, possibly the nation.

Vaping industry groups have said they support some level of regulation, as seen in Rep. Ray's bill.

"We're not opposed to regulation as long as it's smart and sensible regulation and they don't overreach their bounds," said Aaron Frazier, the director of the group Utah Vapers.

Frazier said his group met with Rep. Ray last week and is opposed to the portions of the bill that would ban Internet sales and regulate some of the nicotine ingredients in e-cigarettes.

HB 112 is scheduled to be heard on Wednesday morning in the House Health and Human Services Committee. Sen. Stuart Reid, R-Ogden, has a related bill: SB 12 would raise the smoking age in Utah from 19 to 21.

That bill is awaiting a hearing before the Senate Health and Human Services Committee.


  • Mike Cockett

    Why on earth don’t we enforce the laws we have now instead of making so many more!! I find it hard to believe a person can go and fight and possibly die for their country at 18 but can’t smoke till 19 and now they are trying to say 21. Come on people why on earth do you think that if you pass a band on things that kids won’t be able to get them!! Internet sales or stopping internet sales are not going to change things!! I hear people say what is wrong with their parents!! Really!! Parents only have control of their children while they are in their homes!!! It’s not the parents fault!! Wake up cause if we don’t one day we will wake up and find that we are living in a communist country!! And the only freedom we will have is what????

  • Matt Zukowski

    “We’re just trying to keep them out of the hands of kids”

    That’s patently silly. Kids already get a hold of cigarettes. The solution to kids experimenting with e-cigarettes is to make real cigarettes more attractive? And make them available in shops where kids already buy cigarettes but not permit age restricted mail order? Someone is smoking something.

  • Mark Jensen

    Eric, I could not agree more. No one wants kids having access to products meant for adults. I am not a smoker nor have I ever been. However, close friends of mine have seen dramatic improvements in their health using e-cigs. To ban online sales, which as I understand represents the vast majority of sales – especially to Utahns in rural areas – is a ban on adults having access to healthier choices. Rep. Ray may mean well, that I do not doubt, but Ray with this bill fall into a long line of politicians “meaning” well but making bad legislation. I doubt this will have the intended results w/kids not having access to e-cigarettes, but will inadvertently keep smoking adults from making better – way better choices. Ray is misguided here. Period.

    • Eric Anderson

      I always assume that every adult should be free to do as he pleases until it’s proven that he’s interfering with the rights of others. That’s because I believe that freedom, rights and liberty are inherent parts of the citizen, not things to be grudgingly doled out by government.

      But clearly I live in the wrong state for that kind of attitude.

  • Catherine Burt (@InAGaddaDaVegan)

    The justification of banning online sales would have to come from real evidence that doing so would make a real impact on underage sales to minors. No evidence has been shown that this is the case.

    Apparently they have asked teens who have these devices where they got them. And as we all know, teens who get caught with things they aren’t supposed to have… are paragons of truth, right? They won’t admit to having a fake ID, older friends, buddies in shops who sell them, or to stealing them. They will say “From the Internet.”

    This law is against the interest of public health and the safety of kids (yes, what about the kids of that large number of people who quit smoking using an e-cig? Don’t we care about their well-being?).

    Anyone who favors such ham-handed regulations … if your kid gets their hands on real cigarettes instead of the relatively clean, less harmful “E” version… you will pay dearly for your freakish desire to control others. I don’t wish this on anyone but this is what you’re asking for.

  • Tom Lewis

    As usual Congresman Ray’s bill misses the mark. Please things through. In effect this legislation would hand the e-cigarette industry over to 7-11 and big tobacco disposable e-cigarettes in most of Utah, and that should be the last thing Utah wants to happen.
    What I find unfortunate is that some of the most pristine places on earth here in Utah would be first to feel the impact of no internet sales with depleted cartomizers strewn around like cigarette butts.

    My wife worked for DCFS for many years, so trust me, we are on the same page when it comes to the wellbeing of children. However this bill does nothing that will prevent the underage use of e-cigarettes. The only things that will prevent underage use are parent & teacher involvement, and enforcement of laws already on the books.
    It’s already a violation of law to contribute to the delinquency of a minor, and it’s also a violation of law for a person under the age of 19 to buy or possess an e-cigarette.
    If we don’t enforce those two laws, what good will any law do?

  • Sacha

    I agree, banning internet sales won’t prevent teens from vaping/smoking. Aside from that, it should be the parents responsibility to monitor what their child purchases over the internet.

    Most, if not all, US websites have quit allowing PayPal payments for e-cig materials, and if they’re a minor with their own credit/debit card, then the account is also in a parent/guardians name. How hard is it to check on their recent purchases? After all, isn’t it a parents job to do their best to monitor what your child does/buys??

  • Sam

    I’ve been cigarette free for 3 months thanks to eCigs. I agree kids shouldn’t have access to them, but our legislature has a track record of over doing it on regulations for anything that… doesn’t conform?

    I feel way better, I don’t smell bad, and I have a way to deal with cravings that, so far, hasn’t adversely affected my health.

  • Keith Stammrs

    Electronic cigarettes are a far healthier alternative for tobacco smokers, and this is the true aim of banning them. Why are they being banned from the internet, you can not receive a credit card if you are a minor so the internet ban makes no sense. The electronic cigarette threatens the NRT and Big Pharmas tobacco harm related drug business [ worth $289 billion per year] , it threatens Big Tobacco currently 12/15% of tobacco smokers are now using electronic cigarettes, and it threatens government tax revenues on tobacco so the politicians hate it. The excuse that electronic cigarettes are a gateway to smoking tobacco make as much sense as a pushbike being a gateway to motorbikes , or water being a gateway to vodka, if the politicians took as much interest in how many Big Pharma drugs are killing people, or the chemicals you put in your food- bovine hormone[ steroids] , food irradiation [ radioactive] or what you are allowing with genetically modified food, they might be doing a public service, rather than currently doing a service to big business and eliminating it’s harm reducing competition.

    • Yeshua yenny

      Excellent! Could we maybe start with the legal heroins(oxy’s) that are turning housewives and school kids into street junkies? How about the legal speed (adderal, etc) that we give children while telling them marijuana is the devil? We have created a culture of addiction that the tobacco and pharma industries love. “She goes running for the shelter of her mother’s little helper…” . E-cigs are the LEAST of our worries. Also, why do our lawmakers think that somehow passing redundant legislation helps? Making things “more illegal” is moronic at best.

  • Stephen Atkin

    Don’t Republican’s claim to want less government? Why are they pushing for more regulation? Isn’t that what Democrats are supposed to do? Oh, that’s right…Republicans only believe in less government when it suits them, like with guns and business. But when it comes to interfering with the privacy of what one does in his or her own home, Republicans want to be everyone’s dad.

  • Debbie Guardino

    Banning internet sales will do nothing to curb teen use of these products. It could also cause many shops who rely on these sales to close up with would then trickle down to less money spent on whole which would hurt the economy. All these “but think of the children” laws really have nothing to do with kids but with trying to control what adults do…When the battle cry of “but the children” is called it’s a safe bet that they are grasping at straws.

  • Ray Yeates

    6,000,000 people will die over the next 12 months of smoking related illnesses. I am one of them. I’ve already been given my 3-6 month notice in June 2013. I have advanced Emphyzema which means my lungs are full of holes. I also have a undiagnoised growth on one of them. I could not quit smoking in spite of being told my condition in June. I’m not one to sit around and feel sorry for myself as every day of life to me has a great deal of wonders to offer, especially when we are part of a family and friends. I did start researching however. When August rolled around I had no choice but to open my mind. Not all is lost . There are other choices now. I understood this after watching a video on youtube about Barb Tarbox. Her message to me was overwhelming. She help me to understand the power smoking has over me. She helped me to understand what I was up against if I try to quit and she also helped me to understand why she choose to talk to children in schools about smoking and why she choose children insteqd of other smokers and educated adults.>>>>> The Stigma. The Shame. The guilt. She knew children were innocent and not judgemental. She knew they would ask honest and caring questions. She knew they would understand the truth. Barb is an Angel in my eyes. Through her honesty I realized that I was closed minded. Closed minded that a fake cigarette, with fake smoke could possibly help me quit . I tried all the other band aid remedies. They did not work for me a 40 year smoker. Anyhow, I purchased an electronic cigarette from the web after looking at many testimonts and reviews. One week later I received my device. I started using it the next day because I thought it best start just like I do when I smoke. (also keeping in mind to give it a fair chance) . That was September 30 2013. I have not had one puff of smoke enter my damaged lungs since that day. I no longer smoke to this day. I breathe with difficulty from the Emphyzema, but I breathe much easier than before. I’m also past the 6 months I was given. I truly respect the others before me who shared their stories on this ingenious device called an e-cig. God bless you all. As for Barb Tarbox. She’s still my guiding Angel…..she never had this opportunity. She passed it on to me and the other 5,999,999 other smokers who deserve the opportunity to experience a better quality of life. Please don’t ban them. To do so would be heartless and even morally wrong. We are in a new age. We must grow up or at least be as honest as the children we teach. Thank you.

  • Paul Law

    All that’s needed is a law that penalises Vendors selling to minors, adults should be allowed to make their own decisions over what they inhale be it a cigarette or an E-cig.

  • Bob Kelly

    Its funny really, “we need to protect the children!” BAN E-CIGS!!!!! With all the studies that show how high the death rate is on cigarettes the only thing done in the last 20 years to protect the “children” from actual cigarettes has been raising the price slightly, and forcing smokers to go outside. Some people have messed up priorities.

  • Heathere'

    This April will be my 3 year anniversary of the day I stopped smoking cigarettes. I watched as my father, suffering, live his last moments sedated and on a ventilator. I know that he had smoked for probably 50 years and I was headed in the same direction as I had smoked for 20 years. In the past, I had tried to quit & failed miserably. I was excited when Chantrix became available & asked my doctor for a prescription. I did try it but it wasn’t enough for me & went right back to smoking cigarettes. It was just a few months later that my father was put on oxygen and shortly after my mother & I stayed at the hospital for over a month and watched him slowly & painfully die. Funny, how I would take the long walks out of the Veteran’s hospital, into the cold to stand outside to do the very thing that as killing him. I had heard about e-cigs through a relative. I did some extensive research on the ingredients and decided to place an order. At first, I tried the ones that actually look and feel like a cigarette & chose the tobacco flavor. I now have several different styles & none of them look like a cigarette & my juice flavors are nothing that taste like tobacco. There are things that really upset me about how vaporizers are viewed. My work will not allow the use of tobacco products on site and this includes e-cigs. When I tried to explain what they were, I was told that they included nicotine and that was why. I explained that while some people chose to include nicotine as in ingredient, you don’t have to have any nicotine included. I was then offered: smoking cessation aides~gum or patches. I laughed at this information and informed them that those items included more nicotine in them than the e-cig I was using. I asked if it was better, in their opinion, to slather my arm in nicotine? I got no response. When doctors listen to my lungs, I now hear things like, “You would never know that you smoked.” This is often followed by, “Tell me more about electronic cigarettes.” I am not looked down upon by my own doctor and she has given me praise for what I have accomplished & has even done her own research about it. How many children are left unattended to order ecigs online???? Also, what about those who vape and do not order their juice without any nicotine included?

  • Brady

    Hey guys I’m a high school student who just turned 18. In the past 5 years I have found that the majority have tried smoking. Which is crazy because cigarettes and marijuana is illegal (that should stop it completely right?) but I’m comforted in knowing that the majority, including myself, switched to electronic cigarettes, an additive free vaporizing method. How many harmful chemicals do you see in a cigarette? And this issue of regulating stores and online stores to me is more bias then trying to ban our firearms. Electronic cigarette stores cannot be within X amount of feet of a church. But a McDonald’s and a mortgage loan center can? McDonald’s is healthy for you, and companies don’t want our money I guess? So let’s restrict a product that has no secondhand damage and the FDA in their everlasting wisdom has yet to slam or draw any comparison to the harmful first hand and second hand effects of cigarettes and let s let the kids go back to using adults to purchase these. If you really want to benefit the state, spend your energy researching the chemicals in electronic cigarette juice. When you find evidence that they are potentially as dangerous or in anyway a step forward in harming the minors by all means take them away.
    A high school student old enough to fight for this country

    • Ray Yeates

      Thank you Brady for being so honest and direct. May I have your permission to use your post as it is on my own pages? Thanks in advance and keep learning , but watch out for the bump in the road….some have been “fixed” for a reason. ;)

      • Brady

        Mr Yeates I’m glad you found my outlook helpful and you may use it in any way you see fit. Thank you for the constructive and helpful advice.

  • Mike

    Lets assume some of you out there are smart and will read this and you are ALL MISSING the bigger picture, its about outlawing shops that sell Ecig anything related to it, an what is going on in utah is straight proof

    “Recently, TV advertisements for RJ Reynolds’ version of an e-cigarette began airing on stations in Salt Lake City, which is a “test market” for them”.

    So your going to ban all e cigs but allow BIG Tobacco to come in and advertise and sell there brand of e Cig, hmm interesting, Its because Utah is VERY VERY corrupt, mormons and there mentality in that state of control over there kids and how they are raised it a direct result to this

    “The Weber-Morgan Health Department has said the Ogden area has the highest youth adoption rates for e-cigarettes in the state, possibly the nation”.

    So they call it a “TEST-Market” what they mean is this is the first place they will start and when enough money is giving from big tobacco to corrupt people in the state your living in the bill will pass and in the future you will only be able to buy your E cigs through the tobacco companies, which really shows you how much your people running your state and our government care about YOU THE PEOPLE!, but as we all let it happen an never do anything to unify it will continue this way, so get off work and drink your beer watch your football and wait till the day you can no longer do this and the average american will finally WAKE UP an do something and we will have a revolution …….this is only the begining by controlling who is able to sell you something and taking away rights of businesses illegally

  • Gordo

    Fact: Ecigarettes SAVE LIVES by offering a MUCH less harmful alternative to deadly tobacco cigarettes.

    Fact: Big Government Rep Paul Ray has REPEATEDLY done everything in his power to eliminate the ecig industry in UT, and make it harder for the people who need these products to get them.

    Considering the two indisputable facts above, one has to wonder why Rep. Paul Ray wants to KILL UT citizens so badly.

    ANYONE that would consider running against Paul Ray, should consider the fact that checkbooks across the country will come out to support them. Mine sure will. UT can’t get rid of this jerk fast enough.

  • firehousevapors

    E-Cigarettes is best approach with compare to original cigarettes,i think original cigarettes are very bad side effect on the health of smoker.so my suggestion is that,every smoker should smoke the e-cigarettes because e-cigarettes are very good approach for every one.Thanks for sharing this information.

  • WhoaNelly

    Anyone who has lived in Utah long enough knows that the current legislation is all about TAX REVENUE. They have outrageous sin-taxes under the guise of “better health” and forcing people to quit the sinning, but when the cash flow weakens, they look for another outlet.

    Don’t be fooled into thinking this is about your health. It’s about money, pure and simple, but anytime they use the words “protect the children”, the sheeple follow…blindfolded.

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