Washington State

Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General

Bob Ferguson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
Jan 14 2016

Calls on Washington Legislature to pass common-sense regulations for “wild-west” industry

OLYMPIA — Attorney General Bob Ferguson today applauded recent Congressional action to require child-resistant packaging on liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes or for “vaping.” Ferguson urged President Barak Obama to sign this groundbreaking legislation into law.

Ferguson also renewed his call for the Washington State Legislature to pass pending legislation to regulate youth access and consumer safety with regards to e-cigarettes and vapor products. The proposed bill would require licenses to sell vaping products, prohibit sales over the Internet, restrict sales targeted at youth, and require ingredient labelling and childproof packaging.

“The evidence is in that youth e-cigarette use is rising at alarming rates,” Ferguson said. “With virtually no state and federal regulation of these products, it’s a wild-west environment that provides little protection for consumers and does little to protect young people, who are particularly susceptible to addictive nicotine products.”

Ferguson praised this week’s action by Congress to pass the first federal law regulating e-cigarettes. “Far too many poison control calls arise from kids exposed to harmful liquid nicotine,” he said. “Childproof packaging — supported by the trade association representing the vaping industry — is a no-brainer when it comes to toxics like nicotine.”

The AG pointed to Washington Poison Center statistics documenting a disturbing 1,000% increase in call volumes related to e-cigs and liquid nicotine since 2012. Over half of those calls concerned children under 4 years of age.

In Washington state, House Bill 1645, introduced in 2015 by Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle) at the request of Ferguson and Governor Jay Inslee, was approved by the House Commerce & Gaming Committee and the Appropriations Committee in the last legislative session. A Senate companion bill, Senate Bill 5573, is sponsored by Sen. David Frockt (D–Seattle).

Learn more about the Attorney General’s legislative agenda here.

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The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the state of Washington with attorneys and staff in 27 divisions across the state providing legal services to roughly 200 state agencies, boards and commissions. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Contact:

Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov