People gathered outside the SeaTac Marriott to protest the Board of Health’s planned vote to follow Governor Jay Inslee’s directive to the state Board of Health to use its emergency authority to ban all flavored vaping products. The board’s vote was unanimous, with one member abstaining, and the rule is expected to take effect this week. (Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times via AP)

People gathered outside the SeaTac Marriott to protest the Board of Health’s planned vote to follow Governor Jay Inslee’s directive to the state Board of Health to use its emergency authority to ban all flavored vaping products. The board’s vote was unanimous, with one member abstaining, and the rule is expected to take effect this week. (Greg Gilbert/The Seattle Times via AP)

It’s official: Flavored vape products are banned in Washington

The board’s vote was unanimous, and the temporary rule is expected to take effect this week.

Associated Press and Herald staff

SEATTLE — Health officials in Washington state on Wednesday formally adopted a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products amid concern over a lung illness that has sickened hundreds of people.

The vote by the state Board of Health came two weeks after Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order asking for the emergency rule to be issued. The board’s vote was unanimous, with one member abstaining, and the rule is expected to take effect this week.

Hundreds of vaping supporters spoke against the order at a public meeting in Seattle, saying it will drive people to black market products or back to smoking tobacco.

The ban, initially slated to last four months but which could be renewed, will apply to flavored products containing nicotine as well as the flavored products with the cannabis extract THC.

The rule also requires sellers of vapor products to post warning signs about the risk of vaping-related lung illnesses. It would not apply at tribal shops, but the governor’s office said the administration is reaching out to tribal governments for their cooperation.

“We support better regulation of vaping products, particularly with respect to requiring ingredient listings and honest communication to patrons about the risks of vaping-related lung illness,” said Dr. Chris Spitters, interim health officer for the Snohomish Health District.

“We are concerned about the marketing strategies being used … that appear to be specifically recruiting youth and young adults,” Spitters added. “It is our hope that this emergency rule will help move toward reversing the troubling increase in youth usage that we have been seeing here in Snohomish County.”

The chairman of the state health board, Keith Grellner, noted that the board has the authority to rescind the rule and he said that if different information emerges on the illness’s tie to flavored products, the board could reconvene and reconsider the action.

The governor’s office is seeking legislative proposals that would permanently ban all flavored vaping products, seek increased transparency to customers on ingredients and increase regular oversight of vapor products. The 60-day legislative session begins Jan. 13.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating reports of more than 1,000 illnesses nationwide linked to vaping, including at least 18 deaths in 15 states.

President Donald Trump has said he plans to ban flavored vaping products nationally. The vaping industry has been heavily criticized for marketing flavors such as vanilla and mango that could appeal to young people.

New York, Michigan and Rhode Island are among the states that have announced at least temporary bans.

Officials in Oregon and California have urged consumers to stop using the products. Massachusetts has gone the furthest, issuing a four-month ban on all vaping products — flavored or not.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Arif Ghouseat flips through his work binder in his office conference room Paine Field on Monday, Dec. 10, 2018 in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Paine Field Airport director departing for Sea-Tac job

Arif Ghouse, who oversaw the launch of commercial air travel at Paine Field, is leaving after eight years.

NO CAPTION. Logo to accompany news of education.
Public school enrollment still down, even as rural districts grow

Smaller districts in Snohomish County seem to be recovering more quickly — and gaining students — than their urban counterparts.

Angelica Montanari and daughter Makena, 1, outside of the Community Health Center of Snohomish County Everett-Central Clinic on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Amid patient woes, CHC of Snohomish County staffers push for a union

Doctors and nurse practitioners are worried about providers being shut out from clinical decisions, which hurts patient care.

Students make their way after school at Edmonds-Woodway High School on March 12, 2020. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
After Edmonds schools internet outage, staff ‘teaching like it’s the 1900s’

“Suspicious activities” on the district’s network delayed classes and caused schedule havoc. “Kids are using pencil and paper again.”

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
Retooling drug laws, protecting octopus and honoring a cactus

It’s already Day 26. Here’s what’s happening in the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

April Berg, left, and John Lovick
Snohomish County legislators talk race, policy in Seattle

Rep. April Berg and Sen. John Lovick chatted about Tyre Nichols and education at an event kicking off Black History Month.

A suspect removes a rifle bag from a broken rear window of a Seattle police car on May 30 in downtown Seattle. An Everett man, Jacob D. Little, 24, has been charged with the theft of the high-powered rifle stolen from the car. This image is from the criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court. 20200904
Everett man sentenced for stealing police gun in Seattle protest

Jacob Little, 26, now faces second-degree murder charges for allegedly killing a man in Renton in August 2020.

Switzerland delegate Markus Herrmann listens while 12th grade students speak with him during a special event set up for their AP Comparative Government class at Glacier Peak High School on Thursday, Feb. 2, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
European delegates talk American culture with Glacier Peak students

Representatives from 18 different EU countries made a stop in Snohomish during their US tour.

Community Transit is leasing a 60-foot articulated BYD battery electric bus this year as an early step in the zero emission planning process. (Community Transit)
Community Transit testing 60-foot electric bus

The agency leased the BYD K11M for $132,000 this year as the first step in its zero-emission planning process.

Most Read