Vernal, UT Dec. 4, 2019 – TriCounty Board of Health adopted a resolution during a public meeting on Dec. 4, 2019, to encourage the legislature to take action to reduce access and availability of e-cigarettes to individuals under 21 years old.
The Board of Health resolves to protect the health of the youth in local communities and address the state-wide e-cigarette problem, urging the Utah State Legislature to take action by creating an excise tax for e-cigarettes, ban e-cigarette flavors and move sales of “open system” e-cigarettes to specialty retail stores.
The use of e-cigarettes in Utah doubled in students grades 8, 10 and 12 from 5.8 percent in 2013 to 11.1 percent in 2017; moreover Utah students are more likely to use e-cigarettes or vape products than any other tobacco product. Tobacco tax increase is one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking and other tobacco use, especially in youth. TriCounty Board of Health recognizes that if the legislature creates an excise tax for e-cigarettes, it will reduce accessibility to youth.
The Board of Health recognizes the dangers of e-cigarette use, especially in adolescents, as nicotine use can disrupt brain development and affect attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction; moreover, teen nicotine vaping more than triples the likelihood that a teen will use marijuana, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
E-cigarettes have never been proven to be safe, and effects of e-cigarettes include: chest pain, coughing; irritation of eyes, mouth, throat; lightheadedness; dizziness; fever; fatigue; increased blood pressure; loss of endurance; irritability; weakened teeth, bleeding gums; lung problems, lung illness, lung collapsing, popcorn lung, etc.