MOSES LAKE - Vape shops and other retailers who sell vaping products in Grant, Chelan and Douglas counties will likely have bare shelves on Thursday after Wednesday’s signing of an emergency ban on vaping flavors.
The Washington State Board of Health approved the emergency ban Wednesday afternoon. The ban takes effect at midnight on Oct. 10 and lasts 120 days expiring during the 2020 legislative session. Retailers will not be allowed to sell flavored vape liquid tomorrow, even if some remains in stock. Cloud 509 Vape Shop Owner Margo Ross says her Moses Lake store will stay open until midnight tonight or at least until all her flavored vaping supplies runs out. Ross was present for the signing of the emergency ban in Seattle today.
“Unfortunately the Washington State Board of Health has chosen to sign a temporary flavor e-liquid ban of 120 days. I am scared not only for myself and my business but for my customers who use flavored e-liquid to stay off of cigarettes. This is mostly unfair to them because they made the hard choice to quit combustible tobacco to better their lives. Their choices are now being demonized and I’m afraid that they will go back to smoking or worse. I would encourage them all to stay the course and do not go back to smoking cigarettes.”
Ross says she’ll only be able to sell tobacco flavored vaping supplies which will more than likely translate into a plummet in sales.
“I only sell about three tobacco-flavored products a month,” said Ross.
The order also asked the state’s Liquor and Cannabis Board to ban any ingredients that are found to be the cause of reported lung illnesses related to vaping in the state and across the country.
Inslee publicly reacted to Wednesday's emergency ban, "I am pleased the State Board of Health agrees we cannot wait to act on this very important public health issue. It comes down to protecting the health of Washingtonians, especially young people. These emergency rules will help protect public health and save lives."
Inslee is asking for draft legislation that would permanently ban all flavored vaping supplies, force manufacturers to list their ingredients on vaping products, etc.
Inslee announced the executive order to ban vaping flavors arguing that flavored vaping products are attractive to children, saying flavors such as bubble gam and cinnamon exist for “one reason and one reason only – make it more appealing to young children.”
Republican State Representative Tom Dent says the emergency ban is heavy-handed and believes lawmakers should have been involved in the decision
“I’m concerned about legislators not being more in the loop about this,” said Dent.