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Utah May Tax E-Cigs Like the Real Ones
States getting impatient with FDA to rule on electronic cigarettes
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 9, 2013 8:28 AM CST
An e-cig user adds the liquid nicotine solution to the filter end of an electronic cigarette.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

(Newser) – A proposal in the Utah Legislature that would tax electronic cigarettes at the same rate as regular cigarettes has put the state at the forefront of a national movement to regulate the increasingly popular devices. More than 35 proposals calling for some type of regulation of electronic cigarettes have been introduced this year in legislatures across the country, but Utah seems to be the only state proposing that they be taxed like regular tobacco, says a tobacco policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Often called "e-cigarettes," the battery-powered devices heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that users inhale. Their popularity has spiked in recent years, both in the US and abroad. Many states have been waiting for the FDA to come out with regulation before passing their own laws, but states seem to be growing impatient. "The more popular they become, a more prominent public policy issue they become," says the analyst. "Without federal regulation, it's left up to the states." If the Utah measure passes, the state could pull in an additional $1.6 million a year.

Copyright 2016 Newser, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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Showing 3 of 52 comments
Sep 8, 2013 8:20 AM CDT
EggplantPerhaps the most interesting information, found in a previous study, is that eating 10 grams of eggplant results in the effects of passive smoking. An eggplant was found to contain 100 ng/g of nicotine. Don't worry just yet, though: You'd have to eat 20 pounds of eggplant before you experience the same effects as smoking one cigarette. That's a lot of eggplant! PotatoesThe pulp of potatoes was found to contain more nicotine than the potato as a whole. The pulp clocked in at 15.3 ng/g of nicotine in a previous study and required a person to eat 65.4 grams before reaching the same effects of passive smoking. The whole potato registered only 7.1 ng/g in the 1993 study, and required 140.4 grams. Potato PeelThe peel presented much less nicotine in a previous study. It was found to have only 4.8 ng/g of nicotine, meaning a person would have to eat 208 grams. Green TomatoesGreen tomatoes had a higher level of nicotine in a previous study-- 42.8 ng/g. Eating 23.4 grams equaled the effect of passive smoking. Ripe TomatoesThe 1993 study found 4.1 ng/g of nicotine in ripe tomatoes. Eating 244 grams equals the effects of passive smoking. Pureed TomatoesPureed tomatoes were much higher. A previous study found 52 ng/gram of nicotine. Eating 19.2 grams equals the effects of passive smoking. CauliflowerThe 1993 study found 3.8 ng/g of nicotine in a cauliflower, which means that a person would have to eat 263.4 grams of it to equal the effects of being in a room with a smoker for three hours. A previous study, however, found that amount to be much greater -- 16.8 ng/g. The latter estimates the same person would eat 59.5 cauliflowers before experiencing the effects of passive smoking. People are so worried about the second hand nicotine in everything but were they aware that these vegetables contain nicotine and is introduces into their bodies when they eat them. Give the E-cigarette people a break they are trying to help themselves and the people around them. Don't judge something you do not understand.
Mar 9, 2013 5:18 PM CST
Utah is a joke in so many ways. Too much inbreeding for sure!!
Mar 9, 2013 2:29 PM CST
We were in a restaurant the other evening and a lady next to us started to light up one of her so-called "E-cigarettes." I told here she couldn't do that around other people and she proceeded to tell everyone how "safe" they were. I ask her if she knew that they work by heating up nicotine, which certainly isn't safe and she, of course, denied it, as any addict would. I told her if she attempted to use it, I would dunk it into her water glass. Her hubby got irate with me, but after my friend (6'5", 235 lbs.) stood up and read the riot act to him, he backed off. Several people around us applauded us after it was over. What a night! These addicts are such a sight - LOL!