Utah Regulations Action Alert

Public comment is now being accepted on the Utah “Electronic Cigarette Substance Standards – Rule R384-415”.  Details of how to participate are at the bottom of this message but we ask that you please review the full details below in addition to the proposed rules prior to submitting comment.

 

The passage of HB415 during the 2015 legislative session required that the Utah Department of Health convene a special committee comprised of industry and health agency stakeholders to design e-liquid regulations for labeling, nicotine content, packaging, and product quality. For the last 3 months, the Utah Smoke Free Association along with other industry stakeholders have been participating in the committee to provide input and help guide the design of the rules.

Although the UTSFA participated in the committee, we are unable to support the proposed rules.  We feel the impact on the industry and small business owners were completely ignored and believe that the proposed regulations will force non-Utah manufacturers to cease distribution of their products through all retail channels in Utah.  This will force most vapor specialty retailers out of business due to the inability to provide products to the consumers in the state; leaving over 600 Utah families facing unemployment. We also believe that by placing stricter regulations on the vapor industry than what is currently required of the tobacco industry, Utah is clearly stating they support Big Tobacco over small business owners who are trying to help Utah residents break free from traditional tobacco.

The proposed rules apply to ALL retail operations (including gas stations, c-stores, smoke shops and vapor specialty businesses) and distributors selling bottled e-liquid to Utah residents or Utah retail operations; or for any e-liquid manufacturers within the state of Utah. This also includes all e-liquid manufactured outside of Utah and sold through Utah retail and/or distribution channels. Despite comments made by the Utah Department of Health, the proposed regulations will have significant impact on all retail / distribution channels who sell refillable e-liquid and Utah based manufacturers.  We firmly believe these regulations will force specialty retailers to close their doors permanently due to the inability to stock products that meet the overburdensome regulations.

If e-liquid manufacturers are unable to comply with even one item in the regulations, sales of the product will be prohibited. Unfortunately only the retailer of e-liquid products holds full accountability for any financial enforcement penalties; up to and including revocation of their e-cigarette or tobacco sales license.

We encourage all business owners & stakeholders (regardless of retail type) who sell or manufacture e-liquid to participate in the public comment period and request the regulations be stricken from HB415 and revisited in 2016 in a more considered and balanced approach to both the health of our residents AND impact to the industry. Consumers are also encouraged to participate.  Please review the proposed regulations along with our simplified breakdown at the following links before submitting public comment to ensure you understand the full impact of the proposal.

A copy of the proposed regulations can be found here: http://www.rules.utah.gov/publicat/bulletin/2015/20151015/39797.htm

A simplified version of the regulations can be found here: Proposed Rule R384-415

 

For Retailers, your comments should include:

  • Estimated annual financial impact to comply with R384-415-10 Record Keeping and Testing.
  • Estimated monthly financial loss if non-Utah e-liquid suppliers will no longer ship to your location due to the regulations
  • Potential loss of sales due to nicotine content restrictions (see above “Proposed Rule R384-415 document)
  • Number of employees affected if the regulations force the closure of your business

For Manufacturers, your comments should include:

  • Estimated annual financial costs for;
  • Financial impact of any label redesign
  • Financial impact for the implementation of a batch tracing system
  • Financial impact of nicotine testing of every batch manufactured
  • Financial impact of packaging modification (CRC caps/tamper evident seals)
  • Potential loss of sales due to nicotine content restrictions (see above “Proposed Rule R384-415 document)

For consumers, your comments should include:

  • What you will do if your preferred e-liquid brands are no longer available.
  • What you will do if vapor products are no longer available in Utah due to the over-regulation of the industry.
  • If you are employed by one of the estimated 70 vapor businesses, what impact would you and your family experience if you suddenly became unemployed because of the over-regulation.

The public comment period runs from 5pm on October 15th through 5pm on November 16th. All comments submitted will become public record and viewable to the public so please keep all comments factual and professional.  All comments must be emailed to Luke Chalmers tpcprules@utah.gov with the subject: Comments on Proposed Rule R384-415.  You are also welcome to include the UTSFA on your email by copying board@utsmokefree.org

At the completion of the public comment period, the rules may be modified where deemed appropriate by the Utah Dept. of Health followed by submission to the Legislative Administrative Rules Committee for their review and approval. We believe this will occur sometime between November 16th and the end of the year.  Per requirements in HB415, the rules must be completed and signed off by January 1st with enforcement beginning on July 1st 2016.

 

We have also organized 2 industry conference calls over the next 2 weeks where we will discuss the regulations, the anticipated impact on the industry and answer any questions you may have.  Click the date & time below for the invites with dial information.

Call 1 – Friday October 23rd, 3:30-5:00 PM

Call 2 – Thursday October 29th, 4:00-5:30 PM

 

If you have any questions on the regulations or would like to make phone contact, please use our contact page and submit a request to the Board of Directors.

Facebooktwitterby feather
rssby feather

Comments are Closed