A judge has overturned Utah’s emergency rule banning the sale of flavored ejuices.
Third District Court Judge Keith Kelly said the Utah Department of Health overstepped its authority in implementing the emergency rule and should instead have followed an administrative rule-making process. He also agreed with the plaintiffs’ assertion that enforcement would cause vape shop owners irreparable harm.
Vape shops sued after the Utah Department of Health implemented a rule blocking nonlicensed specialty tobacco shops from selling flavored e-cigarette
products to help stem an outbreak of vaping-related illnesses. So far, 98 cases have been reported in Utah.
The vape shops’ attorney argued there is no “emergency” and the rule puts up to 680 small Utah businesses at risk. The outbreak, they argued, is tied to
illegal THC products not flavored juices.
The Utah Attorney General’s Office claimed that while illegal THC was a component, health officials still believed many cases involved regular nicotine
The judge’s restraining order will lapse on Nov. 22 when both sides are scheduled to return to court for a preliminary injunction hearing where vape
shops could seek to make the order permanent.