SEATTLE - WA Governor Jay Inslee announced an executive order at a Seattle press conference Friday that changes how agencies will regulate, monitor, and communicate about a variety of vaping products.
The governor’s executive order directs the Washington State Department of Health to ask the state Board of Health to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vapor products, including flavored THC products and immediately ban any ingredients or sources that are found to be a cause of this acute illness.
The order also asks the DOH and Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to work together to draft Governor-request legislation for 2020 that will ban all flavored vapor products; require disclosure of ingredients in vapor products; increase regulatory oversight; limit bulk sales; expand the educational campaign; and clarify the Department of Health’s authority in situations like this where there is a harm or risk to the public but the specific cause of that harm is unknown.
“We aren’t waiting for Big Tobacco to tell us what is in their products,” Inslee said. “We aren’t going to take health guidance from them, because we know that their goals are to make money and create new customers. That is what they are interested in. We are interested in ensuring that adults and young people have known and regulated ingredients in vaping products. Everyone deserves to know what is in the vaping liquid they are inhaling into their lungs.”
The announcement comes after medical professionals reported seven cases of severe lung illness in Washington from vaping devices or e-cigarette products. The Center for Disease Control has reported at least 12 deaths nationwide, as well as more than 800 cases of lung injury possibly related to these products.
As of today, experts have not identified a specific product or substance that is causing the illnesses.