When the Utah Indoor Clean Air Act was passed, electronic cigarettes and hookah pipes were not part of the current trend among students. The Utah PTA is making sure these trends are brought to the attention of state leaders as HB245 seeks to amend the 1995 Act.
A 2011 Utah Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health survey of more than 55,000 students found high school students experimenting with e-cigarettes. The survey, taken every two years, is conducted by the Utah Department of Health. This year the agency paid to add questions regarding e-cigarettes to the survey. The survey identified nearly 8% of 12th graders had already tried e-cigarettes, with 3% using them in the past 30 days of the survey.
Electronic cigarettes contain nicotine, which the Food and Drug Administration classifies as a stimulant drug. When smoking a cigarette, consumers know the amount of nicotine they are getting, but with an e-cigarette the amount is unknown as the cartridge can be refilled.
The Utah PTA President said limited research on e-cigarettes make it a safety and health issue for students, which is why they are concerned about student use. Utah’s PTA and the Utah Department of Health support the bill to protect children from the effects of e-cigarettes and hookah.
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