Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order affecting vaping statewide on September 27. It changes how state agencies will regulate, monitor, and communicate about a variety of vaping products. The governor’s executive order was announced after medical professionals reported seven cases of severe lung illness in Washington from vaping devices or e-cigarette products. At the time, the Center for Disease Control reported at least 12 deaths nationwide, as well as more than 800 cases of lung injury possibly related to these products.
The governor’s executive order directs the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) to:
- Ask the state Board of Health to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vapor products, including THC products.
The order also directs DOH and the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to:
- Immediately ban any ingredients or sources that are found to be a cause of this acute lung illness; and
- Work together to draft Governor-requested legislation for 2020 that will ban all flavored vapor products; require disclosure of ingredients in vapor products; increase regulator 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.
- Immediately take whatever steps they can to warn consumers of the risks, encourage health care providers to report all suspected cases, and expand their educational campaign to increase awareness around the dangers of vaping.
The Liquor and Cannabis Board is also working with the Office of the Governor, DOH, and the cannabis vapor industry to issue consumer warning signs to state-licensed cannabis retail stores.