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Expect new legislation aimed at vaping

(Photo credit: Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — Legislation is underway on the state and national level to try to crack down on vaping.

Lawmakers expect at least 3 new bills coming next session in Utah, focusing on enforcement, education and regulation of e-cigarettes.

“To clarify that all vaping and nicotine dispensing devices products are illegal for minors. Because there’s so much unknown, and as people don’t know and aren’t educated, they don’t really see the harms of this,” said Rhett Larsen, School and Student Safety Specialist at the Utah State Board of Education.

Options include an 87 percent tax, banning flavors, and consistent penalties for underage users.

“Another part of the enforcement piece is a resolution to encourage the local health departments to cap the number of vape shops in any area,” said Larsen. “It’s also to address the problems of vape shops soliciting and selling to minors, which really is a problem.”

Tuesday in Washington DC, the House oversight and investigations subcommittee will hold a hearing regarding e-cigarettes. This hearing will examine the outbreak of lung illness associated with the use of e-cigarette products.

Leaders from the CDC and FDA, as well as state health officials, have been invited to testify.

The CDC has identified over 300 cases of lung illness nationwide associated with e-cigarette use.

On Monday the Utah Health Department announced they were investigating 47 cases of lung disease associated with vaping. That’s five more in a week. Another 22 potential cases are being investigated.