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As Utah public health continues to investigate cases of severe lung disease in people who vape nicotine or THC products, the Bear River Health Department encourages individuals to seek out a proven treatment option to help them quit. Many of these services are available for FREE and can be easily accessed in the convenience of your own home.

The Utah Tobacco Quit Line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) is a free telephone-coaching program that can help vapers end their addiction. A trained coach will talk participants through the process of developing a personalized quit plan. They will also discuss options for medication including free Nicotine Replacement Therapy for eligible callers. Participants who elect to visit waytoquit.org and enroll in the online coaching will receive similar services. Or if a more traditional class meets your needs, the health department offers those as well. Click here to register.

E-cigarettes are still a relatively new product and additional research is needed to better understand the dangers and long-term risks of using them. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that if you’ve never smoked or used other tobacco products or e-cigarettes, you should not start. Additionally youth, young adults, or pregnant women should not use them. The US Surgeon General advises parents to talk to their teen about e-cigarettes. Since some e-cigarettes resemble ordinary household items such as USB flash drives, pens, flashlights and others have unique shapes, it can be hard to know if your child is using. A natural conversation will increase the likelihood your teen will listen.

The seriousness and potential threat to public health from unknown suppliers and questionable product require our immediate attention. Utahns are urged to use caution when considering vaping, including THC cartridges, as the safety of these products has not been demonstrated. To find the latest updates from the CDC on severe pulmonary disease associated with using e-cigarette products, click HERE. To get the latest in local updates from the Utah Department of Health, click HERE.

FOR RETAILERS:

On October 2, 2019, an emergency rule was enacted that requires all tobacco retailers that sell e-cigarettes products to post notices regarding the dangers of vaping unregulated THC products. A copy of that required signage is available in English or in Spanish. The signage needs to be posted by October 7, 2019 in all retail locations. The emergency rule also restricts the sale of flavored e-cigarettes products to retail tobacco specialty businesses. The news release from the Utah Department of Health announcing this rule can be found HERE. You can also access the Utah Department of Health’s Emergency Rule website by visiting http://utahtobaccolaws.org/emergency-rule-r384-418/.

Letters have been sent to retailers alerting them of this rule. The letter sent to general tobacco retailers is available HERE, and the letter sent to specialty stores can be accessed HERE.

Utah has been hit especially hard in the national outbreak of lung injury cases. Mounting evidence points to the vaping of unregulated THC products as a possible reason for this outbreak. This has necessitated this change. Moving products to age-restricted shops will reduce young people’s access.