OGDEN The Weber County Fairgrounds will host Utah’s first “Vapor Fest” this June.

Crystal Jojola, who runs Grand Events Utah with her husband John Furse, said the June 21 event will feature local vapor shops along with other vendors, food and music.

“Our target audience are people 19 and older who vape,” Jojola said. “We will have very strong enforced rules that everyone will be ID’d at the door.”

Vaping refers to the use of battery powered electronic cigarettes that deliver inhalable vapor that contains varied levels of nicotine and flavorings depending on the type of “e juice” the consumer selects.

In Utah, e cigarettes are regulated in similar fashion to their tobacco counterparts when it comes to age limited use and restrictions set forth in the state’s Indoor Clean Air Act.

According to the Weber Morgan Health Department’s website, , the Act prohibits the use of lit tobacco products, hookah and electronic cigarettes in indoor places of public access and within 25 feet of any entrance, exit, open window or air intake of buildings where smoking is barred.

Smoking and vaping is also banned in outdoor public places such as playgrounds, recreational areas, amphitheaters, fairgrounds, sports fields, amusement parks, swimming pools, cemeteries, walking/running trails, skate parks, etc.

Jojola contracted with Weber County to rent the outdoor courtyard at the Golden Spike Events Center for $500. The Vapor Fest also must pay $810 for Sheriff’s Security Service $45 per hour for three sheriff’s deputies who will police the area for six hours.

“It’s a really nice piece of business for us, the first of its kind out there, and on a good date when we can use the business,” said Jim Harvey, general manager for Weber’s Golden Spike Events Center.

Jennifer Graham, Weber County’s recreation facilities director, said that participants in the outdoor event will be confined to specific smoking areas when vaping.

There are currently two designated smoking zones, and Graham said they might establish some additional temporary areas to accommodate this event.

“It depends on their ticket sales,” Graham said. “We did something similar when we had the World Cup Archery event here,” that drew a large international crowd and drove the need for more smoking zones.

The use of e cigarettes has exploded in recent years, arousing significant controversy because of questions surrounding their safety.

According to Consumer Reports, the Food and Drug Administration does not currently regulate e cigarettes and related products, but the federal agency is expected to establish restrictions concerning their advertising and sale to minors, and could also require disclosure of ingredients and compliance with certain manufacturing standards.

While e cigarettes expose people to fewer toxins that tobacco cigarettes, the Consumers Union warned that they’re not necessarily risk free.

“The unchecked ability of e cigarette retailers to make broad and enticing claims that aren’t necessarily supported by evidence is but one more reason Consumer Reports thinks the FDA needs to get moving on regulations,” the organization posted on its website.

Aaron Frazier heads up Utah Vapers, a Salt Lake City based advocacy and trade organization that fights for the rights of retailers and adult consumers who choose to vape.

“I was a 24 year smoker, a pack and a half per day, that quit overnight with this,” Frazier said, adding that he had unsuccessfully tried to kick the tobacco habit at least a dozen times using other cessation tools.

While Utah Vapers started out as a support group, Frazier said it soon grew into an education and advocacy organization that aims to be proactive about keeping such products off limits to underage users.

The group’s website also lists several published studies at

“Electronic cigarettes mimic the psychological and physiological aspects of smoking,” Frazier said. “For someone who hasn’t been addicted or obsessive compulsive about anything, they likely wouldn’t understand.”

Contact reporter Cathy McKitrick at 801 625 4214 or cmckitrick Follow her on Twitter at catmck.

The case for tolerating e-cigarettes – nytimes.com

European parliament rejects medicinal regulation on electronic cigarettes

The evidence, while still thin, suggests that many e cigarette users, hoping to kick the habit, use e cigarettes as a safer alternative to tobacco. Research also suggests that e cigarettes may be better at helping to sustain smoking cessation than pharmaceutical products like nicotine patches or gums.

No one believes nicotine addiction is a good thing, and our qualified support for e cigarettes is not one we reach lightly. Although some e cigarette manufacturers have no links to the tobacco industry, Big Tobacco is consuming an ever greater share of the e cigarette market. It is hard for public health advocates like us to look favorably on anything the industry wants. But history shows that harm reduction the doctrine that many risks cannot be eradicated and that efforts are best spent on minimizing the resulting harm has had an important place in antismoking efforts and suggests that regulation is better than prohibition.

It s been only a half century since the federal government took an interest in making tobacco products safer. In 1964, Surgeon General Luther L. Terry issued a watershed report definitively linking smoking with lung cancer. But he also described research into new kinds of cigarettes as a promising avenue for further development. In the early 1970s, the government spent some $6 million a year to try to develop safer tobacco products. Even the health secretary Joseph A. Califano Jr., who called smoking Public Enemy No. 1, saw, in 1978, a place for research aimed at creating a less hazardous cigarette. As late as 1981, the surgeon general advised smokers who couldn t or wouldn t quit to switch to low tar and low nicotine brands.

The American Cancer Society, while worried that the development of less hazardous cigarettes might derail efforts to deter people from smoking or getting them to quit, supported frank scientific discussion about the possibilities of developing cigarettes that will be less harmful and still satisfying to smokers.

This effort came to a halt in the 1980s, when stunning revelations from high profile court cases demonstrated that the tobacco industry had lied about the dangers of smoking for decades and even manipulated the levels of nicotine in its products to ensure that smokers stayed hooked. The magnitude of the deception made it nearly impossible to consider the possibility of a safer tobacco product. It inspired, among advocates, opposition to anything less than total cessation.

This new stance was supported by the availability of over the counter nicotine replacement therapies and a focus on protection of bystanders from secondhand smoke. As the head of the American Heart Association put it in 2000 There is no such thing as a safer cigarette.

The irony is that, during these same years, AIDS prompted public health advocates to support needle exchange for users of intravenous drugs, a harm reduction approach that also drew fire from those who favored complete elimination of drug use. Fears that such programs would lead to greater illicit drug use have been definitively put to rest.

Of course the analogy is not exact Unlike clean needles, which present no independent harms to injecting drug users, less risky alternatives to smoking, like smokeless chewing tobacco and the moist tobacco product known as snus, carry a grave risk oral cancers.

E cigarettes potentially overcome that barrier. Most experts consider nicotine harmful only at extremely high doses. Tobacco control advocates tolerate the long term use of therapies like the nicotine patch and nicotine gum despite their approval only as temporary smoking cessation aids. In 2000, the chairman of a Public Health Service panel called tobacco dependence a chronic condition that warrants repeated treatment, even if that meant treating smokers for the rest of their lives.

Advocates fear that e cigarettes will serve as a gateway to deadly cigarettes or sustain smokers in public settings where lighting up is banned. Waiting to act, New York City s health commissioner, Thomas A. Farley, said, is a risk we should not take.

But there is a price to such rigidity. Emotion should not rule out harm reduction, even if eradication of smoking is the ultimate goal. Banning vaping in public won t help. Instead, e cigarettes should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as products sold or distributed for use to reduce harm or the risk of tobacco related disease. The industry can t be trusted to provide safer products. The historical mistake was not the pursuit of a safer cigarette, but championing that cause with dishonest partners.

If e cigarettes can reduce, even slightly, the blight of six million tobacco related deaths a year, trying to force them out of sight is counterproductive.