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Utah: Laws and regulations summary

Utah StateJump to a section using the links below:

Past LawsPending LawsCurrent LawsOur view

Past laws

HB 112 (Did not pass)

  • Age restriction
  • License requirement

Pending laws

HB 157 (Introduced)

  • Raises the age limit for the purchase, possession, and use of tobacco and related products (Electronic cigarettes) from 19 to 21 years

HB 333 (Introduced)

  • 86 % tax on electronic cigarette products

HB 302 (Introduced)

  • Essentially the same bill as HB 333 same tax, uses the tax to fund Medicaid Expansion

Current laws

HB 415 (Signed into Law)

  • Special licensing requirements for store owners who sell electronic cigarettes
  • Gives the Utah Department of Health the authority to determine product quality, nicotine content, and labeling standards
  • Penalties ranging from $300-$1000

Patchwork of County by County Regulation

  • Davis County limits nicotine content , advertising, and child proof safety caps
  • Utah County

Part of the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act

Currently Utah requires special licensing requirements for store owners who sell electronic cigarettes and has given Utah health Departments authority to determine product quality, nicotine content and labeling standards.

Our view

Rep. Paul Ray of Utah is the main sponsor of most of these bills; each bill makes it increasingly more difficult for consumers in Utah to acquire electronic cigarettes. His drive is placed in what seems to be a genuine concern for the youth of his state. Rep. Ray was exposed to the effects of second hand smoke as a child stating “It’s been a passion of mine to make sure we protect kids, so they don’t have to go through some of the things I had to go through as a youth. I had three open heart surgeries before I was 16.” However good natured his reasoning the legislation Rep. Ray sponsors puts an unfair financial strain on Utah manufacturers and store owners, and disproportionately limits consumer access to local products.

In fact that might even be his goal. When commenting on various county by county regulations he stated “I’d like to see every county come up with a different policy, making it harder for big tobacco to come in and distribute.” Of course ‘Big Tobacco’ is as rich as Croesus, and never has a problem stepping over hurtles like this. Those who are adversely affected are smaller vape shops and local manufacturers, whose coffers are not as deep and whose affiliation with the tobacco companies is null. In his attempt to protect adolescents he has made it far more difficult for adults to legally purchase electronic cigarettes and far more expensive than it once was. Utah’s electronic cigarette climate is unfriendly and complex, we will continue to monitor the developments in this state to keep everyone abreast of what is happening. Based on past failed and passed legislation it is likely that Utah will continue along this path, and will likely introduce more legislation to restrict access to vapor products, which will disproportionately affect adult smokers.