On March 19, Gov. Herbert signed House Bill 245, a law that bans the smoking of hookahs and “e-cigs” in public spaces.
The signature of this bill with the inclusion of electronic cigarettes is both troubling and unfortunate in that our government has gone on record that they do not support harm-reduction methods to protect the lives of smokers in Utah.
With “vaping,” there is no existing evidence that the “secondhand vapor” poses any level of harm to non-users, nor have any potentially harmful levels of exposure been identified. The sponsor of the bill along with the Senate committee admits that there is no evidence of any hazards from “secondhand vaping.”
By signing HB245 into law, our government is promoting bans without any evidence that it poses any level of hazard to the public.
In our view, this undermines the efforts to promote smoke-free policies because Utah can no longer argue that our policies are backed by scientific evidence that would prove these policies are necessary to protect people from well-recognized hazards. Ignoring science and technology due to opposing morals and beliefs deliberately inflicts harm on people who smoke tobacco products. This approach creates and exacerbates risk and harm for the users.
For more information regarding the Utah Vapers, visit UtahVapers.com or contact Aaron Frazier at 801-230-8159.
Founder, Utah Vapers Association