Washington State Ban on Flavored Vape Products 2021 Update

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by James Bickford

Updated: February 4, 2021

e cigarette law in washington state changes

Washington is the latest state in the U.S. to issue an emergency ban on flavored vape products, including all those that contain THC and nicotine.

Washington Vape Ban 2021 Update

Lawmakers in Olympia have let the 2020 Washington vape ban expire despite calls for it to be made permanent. Instead, the state has raised the minimum age to buy tobacco and vapor products in Washington to 21, a measure intended to stem the rise of teenage vaping. The state enacted a temporary ban on flavored vaping products in response to the EVALI outbreak of 2019, which left several Washingtonians injured and led to two deaths in the state.

While a total ban was avoided, amendments to Senate Bill 6254 include a total ban of products containing Vitamin E acetate (the chemical blamed for the EVALI outbreak), as well as a limit on nicotine levels and a 37% sales tax on the sale of all vapor products. The temporary ban was allowed to expire after the CDC blamed tainted THC cartridges for the outbreak. Many opponents of the ban also stated that vape shops in the state would suffer undue consequences under a permanent ban.

Main Theses

  • Washington’s Gov. Jay Inslee, in an executive order asked the Department of Health to impose an emergency rule banning all vaping products in the state
  • Just like other states which are in the process of banning vape products, Washington is the latest one to join the bandwagon
  • Gov. Jay Inslee is of the opinion that such is a public health move that will save a lot of lives
  • Users are warned about the risks that accompany vaping products with health providers encouraged to report cases of lung illnesses tied to vape products

On Friday, the newly elected Washington governor, Jay Inslee issued an executive decree/order that will compel the State Department of Health to put in place several actions. He directed the health officials to ban the sale of e-cigarettes immediately they convene next month.

The executive order “will ask the state board of health to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vapor products, including flavored THC products. I expect the board to take up this request and vote on it at their next meeting on October 9th” said Governor Inslee during a press conference held on Friday.

Washington joins other states such as Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, and Rhode Island where the ban of selling flavored vaping products is active.
Washington is banning the sale of these products amid concerns that plenty of its citizens have been diagnosed with mysterious lung complications that has killed more than 14 people in the US while sickening hundreds of others. Echoing Governor Jay Inslee’s move, the American Lung Association said that e-cigarettes aren’t safe at all and should be banned.

On Friday, CDC published two reports that shed more light on the effects of vape products and other injuries related to vaping. These reports emphasized that THC vape products were to blame for the recent surge of vaping related deaths and illnesses.
The two reports issued by the CDC paints a picture of who have been affected the most:

  • On a national level, out of 10 patients, 7 are men. Furthermore, the median age is 23 years, meaning that the youth are the most affected.
  • More shocking, of more than the 500 patients who accepted to offer information regarding the type of substances they use, more than 70% said that they consumed THC-related products.
  • The same scenario is the same in Washington where 97% of youth e-cigarette enthusiasts reported using flavored vape products in the last one month.
  • 70% of users cited flavored vapes as the reason for using them.

Gov. Jay Inslee Did Not Stop There as He Had More Directives to Issue

“My executive order also directs the department and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to do the following: First, immediately ban any ingredients or sources that are found to be the cause of this acute lung illness,”

further reiterated the governor. Inslee, a Democrat was upbeat that his executive order will save thousands of lives across the state.

To ensure that a ban on vape products see light of day, Inslee directed health officials to work in close collaboration with Washington’s Liquor and Cannabis Board.

The governor directed them to create effective rules aimed at increasing oversight and vape products, such as increasing the amount of funds spent on teen anti-vaping initiatives and the disclosure of ingredients used in vape products.

Is Ban the Solution?

Even though Gov. Inslee’s move is applauded by many people and institutions in the state, there are others who oppose this move. For instance, as reported by the News Tribune, Super Vape’z owner, Marco Hoffman is of the opinion that banning vape flavored products is highly irrelevant from the real problem.
According to Hoffman, the real problem revolves around individuals consuming fake or products sourced from the black market. According to him, these products contain harmful solvents that bring about lung complications and deaths.

In support of Hoffman, others such as Mr. Schmick, a ranking Republican chairing the House Health Care and Wellness Committee аsserted that the governor’s move has got no impacts at all since such products are readily available for purchase on the streets. He further reiterated that black-market sellers won’t feel the pinch at all. Even though Washington has not reported any deaths yet, nevertheless, there are have been a number of confirmed illnesses, according to reports emanating from the Department of Health.

What to Expect?

With FDA, CDC, local, and state health officials, and other public and clinical partners continuing with their investigation regarding several outbreak of lung-related injuries associated with the consumption of vape products, the ban remains active in Washington.

At the national level, the Trump administration has promised to enforce a ban on all vape products, whether flavored or not. But in a move to save its teens and adult population from further harm related to vape products, there is an emergency order in Washington to ban flavored vape products.

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Published: September 30, 2019Updated: February 4, 2021
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James Bickford

My way of understanding the significance of vaping came not only through the disruption of smoking but its effects on society as a whole. Now I bring people to vaping and bring vaping to people. I love using new gear, writing in-depth reviews and generally nerding out about vaping to like-minded people.

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2 comments on “Washington State Ban on Flavored Vape Products 2021 Update

  • Shaw Tupp

    October 17, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    “Newly elected?” Thats an odd detail to get wrong. He’s been here six years now. Terrible governer, then failed presidential candidate, and now back to what he does best—failing Washingtonians.

  • BRENDA PHILLIPS

    October 5, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    Been vaping for 12+ years without any health problems. Dont punish everyone for foolishness of a bunch of young pot heads.