Utah Gov. Gary Herbert looks up during a ceremonial signing of a state resolution declaring pornography a public health crisis, April 19, 2016, in Salt Lake City.
Photo by Rick Bowmer/AP

Utah Governor Gary Herbert to declare porn a public health hazard

Updated

With a stroke of the governor’s pen Tuesday, pornography in Utah will be deemed a “public health crisis.”

Gov. Gary Herbert is set to sign a resolution passed by the state legislature last month that calls for increased “education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level” to combat pornography.

“Pornography perpetuates a sexually toxic environment,” the resolution states. “Efforts to prevent pornography exposure and addiction, to educate individuals and families concerning its harms, and to develop recovery programs must be addressed systemically in ways that hold broader influences accountable.”

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Once the ink is dry, few groups will be more delighted than the Mormon church-backed Utah Coalition Against Pornography.

“If this moral plague could catch our imagination the way a medical epidemic does, we would be calling out every available member of the health care industry,” wrote Elder Jeffrey Holland on the group’s website last month.

The resolution is the brainchild of another Republican politician in Utah, State Sen. Todd Weiler. He had told NBC News that he was not trying to ban pornography.

“What I am saying is we have taken steps to protect people from tobacco, but we haven’t done that for pornography,” said Weiler, who introduced the resolution on behalf of his constituents in January 2015.

Ultimately, Weiler said, he would like to see default settings on the internet changed to make access to pornography more difficult.

“I do believe pornography is addictive,” he said.

Herbert also intends to sign legislation that requires computer technicians to report child pornography — and makes it a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in prison if they don’t.

Utah is the home base for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints and one of the most conservative states in the country. But a Harvard study back in 2009 found that Utah’s religious residents were the nation’s top consumers of online porn.

Subsequent researchers have questioned the methodology and findings of the Harvard study, which was titled “Red Light States: Who Buys Online Adult Entertainment?”

This article first appeared on NBCNews.com

public health and Utah

Utah Governor Gary Herbert to declare porn a public health hazard

Updated