DAVIS COUNTY (ABC4 News) – In Davis County, health leaders have approved a resolution to prevent children and teens from gaining access to vaping products and e-cigarettes.
“The majority of people who use tobacco products are starting before the age of 21,” said Ivy Melton Sales, the Community Health Services Division Director for the Davis County Health Department. “Our board of health passed a resolution earlier this week, trying to encourage our state legislature to take action.”
The resolution contains eight points. Melton Sales shares the three core ones. “Things like an excise tax, increasing the age to 21 instead of doing it as a phase in, banning flavors,” she said. “The most popular ones that youth are using are menthol, mint and fruit flavors. By eliminating those flavors, the number of youth that utilizes these and becomes addicted to nicotine drastically reduces.”
When it comes to the excise tax, Melton Sales shares the county’s track record. “We have a long history with an excise tax when you have about a 10% increase on a tobacco product, you see about a 7% decrease in youth usage.”
The county is encouraging the state to put any money made from the tax into tobacco prevention and education programs. “Here in Davis County, the cigarette usage rate for adults is three times higher than the youth usage rate. When you look at electronic cigarettes, the youth usage rate is double the adult usage rate.”
By increasing the age to 21, Melton Sales shares why health leaders anticipate it will be effective. “By increasing the age, it’s an effective policy measure that’s been taken across the country to reduce youth initiation and youth usage.”
In the future, the county says it plans to work with the state legislature to enforce the points in its resolution. “The ability to be able to enact these types of laws rest entirely with them.”