2016 Legislative Session
The 2016 Legislative session starts on Monday January 25th. We’re expecting a volatile session fighting for the rights of our Utah vaping industry, our consumers and our future consumers. This year, we are fully expecting the following to in the forefront of our battles:
- Vapor product taxation (bill pre-filed by Rep. Ray, not numbered)
- H.B. 157 Age Limit for Tobacco and Related Products
- Unknown regulations, possibly including
- Advertising ban
- Total online sales ban
- Other unknown regulations
- Manufacturing regulations
- Retail sales regulations
Rep Ray has also partnered with a new student organization in Northern Utah called “Students Against Electronic Vaping”. While we are proud of our young residents for getting involved in issues they feel passionate about, we do feel their efforts are misguided. We shouldn’t have to remind our health departments, our legislature and our public what the real focus needs to be. Instead of fighting the vapor industry who is fighting against the tobacco industry, everyone should be focused on saving the 1,100 lives lost every year in Utah due to combustible tobacco.
Instead of using children to politicize a potential tax and deeper regulations on vapor products that are helping millions of ADULTS to remain smoke free, we believe the debate should focus on saving the lives of the Utah smokers. Continued attempts to tax and regulate vapor products in the same way as cigarettes is the wrong approach, potentially leading adults back to smoking deadly cigarettes. We all agree on the need to keep vapor products out of the hands of minors but applying tax and regulation that risks pushing 25,000 Utah ex-smokers back to smoking or preventing the over 225,000 smokers from switching, is just bad public health policy. Let’s place our focus on saving lives and enforcing the laws on the books and taking action against anyone supplying these products to underage children instead of applying a regressive tax on the consumers who need this product to remain smoke free.
You can be assured that we are prepped and ready for this session and expect our 45 day session to go quickly. We ask everyone to pay close attention to the site, our FB page, calls to actions, etc because once it starts, things are going to happen quickly and with little notice.
If you are a Utah vaping business member, care about someone who vapes or know someone who smokes that needs our help, please consider joining the organization or donating so we can continue our fight to help change lives. Visit our membership page to join or our about us page to donate today!by