(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) today reached an agreement to apply a preliminary injunction to the emergency e-cigarette administrative rule throughout the timeframe the rule was to be effective. The injunction means portions of the emergency rule will not be enforced.
Under the emergency rule, only those retailers licensed as specialty tobacco businesses would have been able to sell flavored e-cigarette products. The rule also required all tobacco retailers to display signage regarding the danger of vaping THC products. The injunction applies only to the flavored nicotine elements of the rule, leaving in place the signage requirement.
The UDOH implemented the emergency rule in response to an outbreak of vaping-related lung injury cases that has affected 109 Utah residents and caused one death.
“The emergency rule was originally intended to be one of public health’s tools for addressing this serious outbreak,” said Ryan Bartlett, media coordinator for the UDOH Tobacco Prevention and Control Program. “We’re disappointed we won’t be able to enforce the flavored nicotine elements of the emergency rule, but we will continue to use all other tools at our disposal to help put a stop to this outbreak.”
The UDOH has already initiated the process of drafting a replacement administrative rule through the regular rule-making process. This process will consist of soliciting input from key stakeholders prior to drafting the rule, and a public comment period once the rule is released. The UDOH intends to issue the draft rule for public comment before the end of the year.
Utah Department of Health