The Washington State Board of Health took action on October 10 following an executive order by Gov. Jay Inslee (D), issuing emergency rules banning all flavored vaping products in the state. The rules come on the heels of a nationwide outbreak of vaping related pulmonary disease.
According to the CDC, there have been 1299 vaping related illnesses and 26 vaping-related deaths across the country. The Washington ban covers both nicotine and THC flavored vaped products. The current ban lasts one hundred and twenty days, but the Governor is asking the legislature and the Board to work together to write legislation to permanently ban the sale of flavored vaping products.
In a letter to the Board of Health, The Cannabis Alliance, Washington’s largest cannabis trade organization, said it supported the governor’s efforts to address the teen vaping epidemic.
“The lack of regulation on the nicotine vapor industry and the high use of synthetic and artificial flavors in e-juice products have attracted youth to these products in staggering numbers,” Alliance members wrote. “It’s also clear that the illicit and unregulated cannabis marketplace has no oversight or transparency into the products that our youth and others are accessing on the street.”
The Alliance clarified, however:
“The majority of products in the regulated cannabis industry do not utilize strong “youth targeting” flavors. The regulated cannabis industry has a very high youth-access compliance rate (~95%); higher than alcohol by a significant percentage. The regulated cannabis industry is committed to being transparent about their products, the process of making them, and what goes into them. The regulated cannabis industry is committed to working with the state to keep people from seeking products in the unregulated market.” — Excerpt from Cannabis Alliance letter to Washington Board of Health
Additionally, The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board has asked all regulated licensees to display signage explaining the ban, disclose all ingredients used to manufacture vaping products, and cooperate with the ongoing “epidemiological investigation” into the cause of the vaping crisis.
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