State lawmaker looks to build on emergency rule for vaping

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A state lawmaker wants to make the flavor restrictions from the health department’s emergency rule permanent.

The bill fell short during this year’s legislative session, but it’s coming back with new momentum.

“We all see that this is impacting so many lives, and if we don’t start to get in front of it now we will have lost an entire new generation to nicotine addiction,” said Representative Jennifer Dailey-Provost, (D) Salt Lake City.

She is bringing back the bill to codify part of the emergency rule from the Utah Department of Health.

It would permanently restrict flavored e-cigarette sales to specialty licensed, or adult-only retailers.

She says it’s necessary because there is no doubt it’s the flavors that attract kids.

“I have long viewed that it’s okay to make access to dangerous products a little bit inconvenient for adults in order to protect children,” said Dailey-Provost.

The bill has bipartisan support. Representative Norm Thurston is once again coming on as a co-sponsor.

“If you look at the list of co-sponsors it was across the aisle. It’s people who understand that this is a rampant problem that’s causing children to become addicted to nicotine,” said Thurston, (R) Orem.

Non-specialty shops say this could put them out of business.

They say they are capable of being responsible on their own.

“We’re boots on the ground. We know what works, we know what doesn’t. We know how to keep this out of the hands of kids,” said Juan Bravo with the Utah Vapors Business Association.

Dailey-Provost says she’s been at this a long time, and that’s not what she’s seeing.

“They’ve assured me that they don’t sell to kids, but kids are using them. We know that they are selling to kids. And, they’ve insisted they can self-regulate and they’re not,” she said.

The emergency rule from the health department will be implemented for 120 days.

Dailey-Provost says it will serve as a good pilot program while she works to get her bill passed.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...