Brynn Carnesecca | Lehi Free Press
A new survey conducted by Drug Safe Utah Education indicates that most Utahns are against proposed law changes that could impact e-cigarette nicotine levels. According to the study administered to 500 Utahns in July, 62% of Utahns consider vaping a concerning health issue in the state.
The survey also reveals that 54% of respondents are against a newly proposed law allowing the sale of e-cigarettes with 5% nicotine levels, up from the current 3%. Over 56% of Utahns polled said that such a policy change would have a negative effect on the community.
“These results are clear: Utahns do not want to see the nicotine levels in e-cigarettes increased,” said Walt Plumb, president of Drug Safe Utah Education, which funded the survey. “We urge our elected officials and the Utah Department of Health to listen to the voices of their constituents and reject this harmful proposal. Increasing nicotine levels in e-cigarettes would be a step backward in the fight to protect our youth.”
Vaping has become increasingly prevalent among various age groups, particularly teens. The surge in the popularity of e-cigarettes is raising concerns among public health officials due to the potential effects of increased nicotine consumption.
“We know that nicotine addiction can have serious consequences for health, including heart disease, stroke, and cancer,” said Plumb. “We cannot afford to make it easier for people to get hooked on this dangerous drug.”
Nicotine is a highly addictive substance, and its elevated levels in e-cigarettes could have detrimental effects on the health and well-being of Utahns. Research has shown that early exposure to nicotine may lead to long-term addiction, negatively impacts brain development, and potentially serves as a gateway to conventional tobacco use.
“The survey results resonate with the concerns we’ve raised for years,” Plumb explained. “It’s clear that a majority of Utahns recognize the significance of the vaping issue and are wary of any policies that might exacerbate the problem.
“As advocates for public health throughout Utah, we urge policymakers to consider the consequences of increasing e-cigarette nicotine levels. It is crucial for stakeholders, including policymakers, educators, and community leaders, to collaborate on effective strategies to address vaping and safeguard the health of our residents, especially the youth.”
The demographic breakdown of the survey respondents showed that 74% were between the ages of 18 and 60, with females representing 52% and males 48%. Additionally, just over 41% of respondents reported annual household incomes ranging from $25,000 to $75,000. It has a 95% confidence level with a 4% margin of error.
For more information on the survey results and Drug Safe Utah Education’s efforts to promote public health and safety, please visit www.stopkidsvaping.com.