December, 2015

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2016 Legislative Fundraiser

huhoThe Utah Smoke Free Association is committed to serving the e-cigarette and vaping community as part of our core principals.  The 2016 legislative session begins on January 25th and we have new battles bearing down on us which require our laser focus and financial commitment:

  • E-Cigarette Taxation – Rep. Paul Ray
  • Tobacco Age Limit Increase – Rep. Kraig Powell
  • E-Cigarette regulations (committed by Rep. Paul Ray but not yet filed)

We have things planned to help fend off this legislation which will require a financial commitment from our organization and the industry as a whole; but they are necessary to survive in the Utah industry. Because this legislation also affects the availability of products for the adult consumers in the state, we are asking everyone in the community consider their support to protect the longevity of the industry. All funds raised through this campaign will be reserved exclusively for bringing in the necessary experts to help protect the industry.

Please see our official Legislative Fundraiser page for full details on how to help protect vaping in Utah. If we lose this battle, the photo below is what will happen in 2016…

Utah handcheck

 

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UTSFA fights for the industry


Utah is now just 4 weeks away from the start of the Utah legislative session. During this session, we have been advised that we will be fighting taxation of the industry yet again. This will be the 3rd attempt at taxation and there is a growing trend of industry taxation across our great country thus we anticipate a deep battle again. We also anticipate an additional regulatory bill aimed at deepening the regulations of the industry in the state.

Just over a year ago, we reformed our organization into a 501(c)4 non-profit, hired 2 lobbyists and therefore financially depend on our existing membership base, new members and a growing list of sponsors to fund our lobbying efforts. Taxation and over-regulation risks negatively impacting sales of all vapor & e-liquid products throughout the state; of which many companies have a market share of.

 

The UTSFA is a 100% volunteer organization and do not allow payments to any member of our leadership team. All funds collected, go directly to our state lobbying efforts and the miscellaneous costs to remain operational so we can support the statewide industry. We have membership options available for Distributors, Retailers, E-liquid Manufacturers, and hardware manufacturers. In addition, we also have sponsorship opportunities for non-industry supporters and non-Utah manufacturers with a vested interest in the Utah vapor market. Sponsorships start at $500 and can be organized as a single donation, as a quarterly payment or set up annually to align with your interests and accounting.

 

We are asking all Utah businesses in the vapor industry to give back to the nonprofits that are fighting for you and your customers. 2016 will be a defining year in the vapor industry and simply writing letters, sending tweets and appearing at hearings unfortunately cannot fund critical lobbying efforts. The UTSFA like many other vapor industry associations need your support to continue pushing back against new and punitive taxes and regulatory measures from “public health” organizations.  Please take the necessary steps to help us fight for your longevity in the industry and join as a member or sponsor.

 

To express interest in joining as a member or sponsoring the Utah Smoke Free Association, we ask that you please fill out this form and a member of our board will contact you soon.

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E-Liquid & Nicotine Warning

For Immediate Release 

11 December 2015, 11:00am MST

Utah Smoke Free Association reminds parents of the dangers of nicotine containing e-liquid.  

 

This week, there was an unfortunate incident involving a 9-month old child and e-liquid used with vapor products. According to the media report <http://www.good4utah.com/news/local-news/as-e-cigs-become-widespread-so-do-their-hazards-baby-ingests-dads-nicotine-juice-in-north-ogden>, the father of the child left an open bottle of e-liquid containing nicotine at a location where the child could easily access it. The child then proceeded to orally consume an unreported amount of the liquid and became ill resulting in a trip to the emergency room. We are releived that the medical staff reports the child will make a full recovery and is not expected to incur any long term harm.

This is the first known incident in Utah such as this and we would like to remind everyone of the necessary safety protocols relating to e-liquid and vapor products. While it’s believed that the bottle used did employ child-resistant caps, the father did not have the cap on the bottle and the bottle was on the floor within the child’s access. It is important to remind every consumer of vapor products (e-cigarettes, vape pens, etc) that e-liquid which contains nicotine is potentially deadly if orally consumed; moreso for small children. E-liquid, like all other chemicals, must always be kept with the cap tightly secured and must always be kept out of the reach of children.

Children are naturally curious and will explore their surroundings. We have seen many instance over the years with children consuming laundry pods, medications, cosmetics, etc leading them to trips to the hospital to treat the exposures. We ask that every consumer of vapor products ensure the products stay well out of reach of children whether you have children in your home or where you may be in the home where small children are present.  There are several signs of nicotine poisoning including drooling, agitation, vomiting, rapid heart rate, and seizures. While the child did not exhibit any of these symptoms, it’s important to remember the safety. E-liquid and vapor products of all types should be treated no differently than you would treat standard household chemicals such as cleaners and bleach. All chemicals, medications and vapor products must be kept out of reach of children and we ask that anyone with small children in your homes to please follow this warning.  

We remind every retailer of vapor products to educate your customers on the dangers of the products where children are present in their homes. If an overdose or accidental exposure occurs, please seek immediate medical help or contact a poison control center by calling 1-(800) 222-1222.

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UTSFA Leadership Nominations

voteThe Utah Smoke Free Association is a consumer driven non-profit 501(c)4 trade organization comprised of a consumer governed Board of Directors. All positions are volunteer and serve a term of 12-24 months unless the position is resigned. All Board of Directors and Officer positions will be nominated by the public and voted on by the UTSFA General Members along with the existing Board of Directors. Per our official By-Laws, the Board of Directors must be comprised of 5 individuals; 3 consumers and 2 from the industry (owners or employees). Consumers on the board may not be affiliated in any way with the industry. Officers are not required as part of our By-Laws and do not have voting authority but add to the leadership and skills and help spread the work out amongst a larger group.

We are currently accepting nominations for 3 positions:

  • Consumer Director (no industry affiliation)
  • Industry Director (must be industry owner/employee)
  • Secretary/Treasurer (Officer – prefer no industry affiliation but will consider all)

Nominees must be passionate about the vaping industry and who have a passion for advocating to keep our industry legal and active in the Utah community. The leadership team meets regularly throughout the year to address legislative issues, work to improve the industry image through media and public relations, and work with the industry on compliance.

The time commitment is generally less than 8 hours per month; with legislative months being the most active and requiring additional time commitment. You must have great skills in building and maintaining relationships but no prior experience with the role is required; just a passion to serve the community which has helped so many people over the last 10 years. The Secretary/Treasurer position is a combined position and therefore is a bit more involved with our finances and generally keeping everyone organized so we do prefer some experience in the field but anyone will be considered.

Self-nomination is acceptable and encouraged!

All nominations close at midnight on December 23rd. The Board of Directors will review all nominations and elections will begin on or about January 2nd.  You can nominate using the form below however if the form does not appear, please use the direct link to the form here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1x3BUjDaankgTXn13iIGTNa6WWRRSD5zfNttSnZNUhsI/viewform?usp=send_form

 

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