OLYMPIA - Today the Washington State Board of Health passed an emergency rule banning the sale of flavored vapor products or any products that will be used to create a flavored vapor product. The rule takes effect on October 10, and lasts for 120 days. The Board of Health and Department of Health will work closely with the Liquor and Cannabis Board on plans for implementation and enforcement now that the emergency rule is final.
“This is a critical part of our response to the youth vaping epidemic and the outbreak of vaping associated lung injury in Washington and throughout the country,” said Secretary of Health John Wiesman, who is also a member of the board. “While we don’t yet know the exact cause of the lung injury, we know these products are not safe and we must act quickly to protect young people.”
Earlier this month, Governor Jay Inslee signed an executive order directing the department to ask the board to adopt this emergency rule and take other actions to address the outbreak of vaping associated lung injury. There are currently seven cases in Washington and over 1000 nationwide. The outbreak is concentrated in young people. Nationally, the median age of patients is 23. Five of the seven Washington patients are between 10 and 29 years old.
In addition to the emergency rule, the department is investigating the outbreak, taking steps to warn consumers of the risks of vaping, asking health care providers to report all suspected cases and expanding educational campaigns to raise awareness of the hazards of vaping, including an emphasis on the high risk of buying and using products from the illegal market.