As of tomorrow, July 1, 2016, people living in Utah are banned from ordering online vaping supplies. The new law means that if you’re a resident of the Beehive state even buying nicotine free e-juices online is, as of tomorrow, illegal.
However, vapers may still go to vape shops and vape lounges to conduct face-to-face transactions. But, since Utah has encouraged local zoning laws to make opening vape shops nigh on impossible, there’s a fear that the state’s some 35,000 vapers will no longer have access to lifesaving vape products at affordable prices.
Even Aaron Frazier, Executive Director of the Utah Smoke-Free Association is worried.
“We fear that this will drive these non-smokers to return to smoking combustible tobacco and elevating the state’s smoking rates after historic declines thanks in part to vapor products.” – Aaron Frazier.
Utah bans online vaping purchases
The law was passed through a licensing bill and none of the organizations who reviewed it caught the surreptitious language that would ultimately prevent online sales in the state.
The UTSFA has been working to change the law for months but just became aware that it cannot be changed in time to prevent the ban tomorrow. And, unfortunately, no one knows yet how the state will enforce the law.
Like all epic stories, there’s an evil anti-protagonist responsible for the bill being passed, and it’s someone that the vape industry has to show solidarity against.
Paul Ray – the man whom every vaping hero in Utah needs to scrutinize, stand up and fight against – saw to it, thanks to his tenacious, hysterical, anti-vaping extremism, that the law passed. He – the man who nicknames the vape industry as “the scumbag” industry – has already been fought and beaten in his efforts to make anti-vaping changes in Utah, including a bill earlier this year that would have imposed a whopping 86.5 percent tax on all vape products. Unfortunately, he sees that this online vape product ban is his sweetest victory yet.
“The online sales prohibition is due to language that was added into 2015 HB 415 that was NOT discussed, nor debated, and was a DELIBERATE bait and switch tactic by Paul Ray. He knew the language was there yet when the bill was presented to the industry…he chose NOT to disclose the true intent. We find this conduct unbecoming of an elected state representative and is the most unethical action in the six years of legislative activity to destroy an industry founded to eradicate combustible tobacco.” – Aaron Frazier, Executive Director of the Utah Smoke-Free Association.
One known to fight dirty, Ray, who continually misrepresents Utah’s vape companies even took 300 school kids into the capitol for a hearing, using them to try and pull at the heartstrings of the legislators by telling them that these children would all become e-cigarette addicts if nothing was done to stop vaping.
Frazier and the rest of the UTSFA believe that the law which Paul Ray managed to get passed is in direct violation of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which gives Congress the sole power to regulate interstate trade. And they’re ready to fight.
But if the ban can’t be amended via legislation changes, the smoke-free association of Utah has to rely on its backup plan: getting together a legal fund to try and stop this nonsense from going on too long.
As we know, federal lawsuits – the do or die card, if you will – are very expensive and retaining Keller and Heckham (the law firm that is currently handling the federal lawsuit in Indiana and the Right to be Smoke-Free Coalition suit challenging the FDA’s regulations), doesn’t come cheap.
That’s why any vaper or vendor from the industry can donate to the UTSFA legal fund.
It can’t be denied any longer that there’s a war against the vape industry going on and if the vapers of Utah don’t make themselves heard, cigarette sales will only soar and no one will be able to order affordable vape products from the internet.