Specialty vape shops are unaffected by the court’s decision to ban flavored e-liquids

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A judge on Monday temporarily overturned the emergency ban on sales of flavored e-liquids. Many store owners see the lift as a victory, while owners of vape stores say the ban has no long-term effect on them.

See the Utah Department of Health statement below:

For many generalist retailers in the state, the increase means they are allowed to sell all flavored e-liquids until the court reconsiders the issue on November 22.

The final outcome of the ban is unknown at this time, leaving many vape shop owners in limbo. The state claims THC vaping is partly responsible for recent lung illnesses and one death in Utah. Advocates for vape dealers agree there is a health crisis, but argue it has nothing to do with e-vaping liquids.

Nick jones

Nick Jones is the owner of Riverwalk Vapors in Salt Lake City, a store specializing in vaping. Jones says he knows several vape store owners who are eager to hear about the permanent decision on flavored e-liquid sales in Utah.

“The flavor ban, since we’re a specialty retailer, hasn’t affected us negatively,” Jones says. Under the Utah Department of Health, specialty vape stores do not fall under the restriction.

Ryan barlett

Ryan Barlett, media coordinator for the Utah Department of Health’s Tobacco and Control program, said Utah has about 1,500 general retailer vaping stores which by law must have less than 30% of their tobacco-related stocks. There are around 170 specialty vape shops in the state. Barlett says these specialty stores must have 30% or more tobacco-related inventory.

Specialty stores must also be licensed by the local health department, but Barlett says general retailers (such as supermarkets or convenience stores) have different licensing requirements. It’s a way to keep tabs on those stores, adds Barlett.

Barlett says specialty stores do not fall under the court rule because they have gone through specific loops to become a specialty store.

“Zoning laws here in Utah to become a specialty tobacco store and primarily sell e-cigarettes or tobacco products, you have to be a thousand feet from a park, church, school, from a daycare, a community center, then 600 feet from a residence, an agriculture or another tobacco. specialty, ”Jones says.

Specialty vape stores also have strict age requirements. To enter a specialty store, you must be at least 19 years old. While he says you can get into general retailers at any age.

Nick Jones says that as the owner of a specialty vape store, he identifies everyone and takes age restrictions very seriously.

“We’ve all noticed one thing in common: we’ve seen an increase in the number of minors trying to enter stores because they’ve been denied the products they were looking for… it’s illegal for them,” Jones says. .

Barlett says the area for a specialty vape store is strict in efforts to keep stores out of the reach of youngsters and young adults in Utah, as studies show the damage isn’t caused by e-liquids. flavorings sold in vape stores, but the substances they could potentially lead to.

The Utah Department of Health has released the flavored e-liquids rule as part of prevention efforts.

“Most people who use THC vape products say they started with flavored vape products… get their hands on these flavored products,” adds Barlett.

Utah has one of 34 deaths reported nationwide from the vaping epidemic. The state’s rate of 26 cases of vaping-related illness per 1 million people in mid-October was more than six times the national rate, according to a federal report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention based on department data. of Utah Health.

Data shows that the average age at which the disease was discovered is 26 years old.

“These are mostly THC related products and most of that THC is THC which is bought outside of these stores on the street,” says Barlett.

Since Monday, October 28, 2019, 109 cases of vaping-related lung disease have been reported in Utah.

To learn more about the temporary ban on flavored e-liquids, click here.

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Aron M. Newman

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