Utah House to take up vaping bill; Romney pushes for nationwide ban on flavoring

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Legislature is moving forward with a bill to address electronic cigarette use by minors.

Rep. Susan Pulsipher is crafting a bill that would allow school administrators to confiscate and destroy e-cigarette devices found in students' possession on while on campus, and to turn the devices over to law enforcement if they are suspected of containing THC.

"We heard from many students during our committee hearing that they didn't know [vaping] was wrong. They thought it was safe. They thought it was flavored water, and it's not," Pulsipher told FOX 13.

An education committee unanimously approved the bill and the Utah House of Representatives will take up in the General Legislative Session in January.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney is drawing attention to the issue on a national level via his Twitter account and questions posed to Stephen Hahn, President Trump's nominee to lead the Food and Drug Administration.

"5 million kids are addicted to nicotine, flavors are driving the youth vaping epidemic, 35 more people have died while we've waited for a USFDA flavor ban," Romney wrote on Twitter Wednesday, echoing a statement he made during his Hahn's confirmation hearing Wednesday.

Romney asked Hahn if there is a reason for delaying an immediate ban on flavored vaping juices.

"I think it requires bold action to keep these out of the hands of kids. I do not want to see another generation become addicted to tobacco and nicotine," Hahn said.

Romney's Office released the following statement:

“While I appreciate that Dr. Hahn agrees that bold action is needed to reduce youth vaping, I believe he should have affirmed the need for a flavor ban based on the evidence seen so far, which is that flavored e-cigarettes are drawing more and more kids into vaping and they are becoming addicted to nicotine without knowing it. We have a health emergency on our hands, and the Administration must follow through on its commitment to ban flavors that entice our youth. With over five million high schoolers vaping and becoming addicted to nicotine, we cannot afford to wait any longer.”

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