Washington State Readies Legislative Response To Vaping

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Gov. Jay Inslee and other state officials are working on a firmer response to a rise in vaping as Washington’s 120-day ban on flavored vaping products reaches its halfway point.

The Seattle Times reports that in addition to a permanent ban on flavored vaping products, Inslee will propose legislation next month that would eliminate bulk sales and cap nicotine levels in noncannabis vaping products. It would also grant the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board the authority to seize illegal products, and allow the state health secretary to issue emergency bans on certain products or chemicals.

The plan is one of the latest in a yearslong push by some state lawmakers to pass tougher regulations on the vaping industry. Legislation would try to limit the percentage of nicotine in vapes to those found in cigarettes, about 2%. Juul’s products, which are popular with teens, contain 5% nicotine.

The next legislative session, which begins in January, will be the first since the onset of a nationwide outbreak in vaping-related illnesses and deaths, many of which involve teens.

Between 2016 and 2018, the number of Washington students who reported that they vape surged by 20%, according to the state’s Healthy Youth Survey.

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