homepage logo

Letter: More action needed to purge illegal vaping devices

Nov 27, 2023

How is it that products that our federal government has banned coast to coast are the same ones that Utah’s children are using the most?

Recent findings from the National Youth Tobacco Survey reported that disposable e-cigarettes remain the product of choice for middle and high school students. There are more than 1.2 million youth using e-cigarettes, and illegal Chinese manufacturers Elf Bar and Esco Bar rank 1st and 2nd among youth. While the FDA and CDC are praising a decrease in use by high schoolers, middle school e-cigarette use is on the rise. It is highly concerning to see younger kids using these highly addictive and dangerous products.

Despite a 2020 federal ban on flavored vapes, brands like Elf Bar, Esco Bar, and thousands of others are still on Utah store shelves. These products are manufactured in Shenzhen, China, and shipped to the U.S., all without adhering to regulations and standards set by the FDA. Recently, Braden Ainsworth, the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program Manager for Utah’s Department of Health and Human Services, stated that local health departments will be amping up enforcement against these illegal, disposable vapes.

As a mom of teenage kids, I applaud the increased effort Utah’s lawmakers are making to get youth-appealing, illegal disposable vapes off our shelves, but we need to do more. I encourage our health and law enforcement agencies to work together to ensure enforcement measures are in place to stop this nationwide health threat against our youth and keep these illegal products out of the hands of our kids.

Jana Conrad



Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)