CLEARFIELD - After months of study and feedback from e-cigarette business owners, the Davis County Board of Heath approved the electronic smoking device regulation on Tuesday and will begin enforcement immediately.
The regulation may still undergo some changes if Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clearfield’s HB112 passes.
Among its provisions, HB112 directs that the Utah Department of Health issue licenses to manufacture or sell the vapor cigarettes, whereas the Davis regulation requires that only manufacturers obtain a permit from the Davis Health Department.
HB112 is still in the House Rules Committee. Davis Health Department Director Lewis Garrett told board members that if the bill passes out of committee, it could still face some changes. However, Garrett suggested the board approve the bill, knowing there could be changes to the Davis County regulation if HB112 passes as is.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Garrett said nearly all the vapor shop owners provided input at a December public hearing, and many changes they suggested to wording within the regulation were accepted.
Many local shops manufacture their own e-juice, Garret said. As department staff investigated, they found inconsistent labeling, bottles prone to leaking without child-proof caps, and sanitation issues in stores mixing their own solutions. Nicotine content was sometimes mislabeled.
Those were all addressed in the regulation. The shops also must limit any claims e-cigarettes can be an effective smoking cessation product, and that “sampling’ (allowed under Utah law) be limited.
“Some e-cigarette shop owners have used this to set up their own smoking lounges,” Garrett said.
E-cigarettes vaporize a liquid through a system of cartridges, which hold flavored liquid, atomizers, which heat and vaporize it, LEDs, batteries and sometimes cartomizers. They generally produce a sweet smell and white puffs of air, but no lingering scent or choking smoke. As with cigarettes, they are not to be used indoors, under the state’s Clean Air Act.
The department will begin enforcing the regulation immediately. Still, Garrett said it will be a few months before all the issues are dealt with.