Impacts include safety warnings, ingredients listing, restriction on sales
OLYMPIA — The Washington State House of Representatives today approved Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s agency-request bill to reduce youth access to vapor products, in a 59-36 vote.
House Bill 1645 prohibits the sale of e-cigarettes and vapor products without a license, requires school districts to prohibit use of e-cigarettes on school property, restricts Internet sales and unsecured displays, requires the listing of ingredients and warning labels, and child-resistant packaging on all e-cigarettes.
“Current law does not do enough to restrict sale and access to children, prevent accidental poisoning and inform consumers about what they’re putting in their bodies,” Ferguson said. “This bill would protect our kids and allow consumers to make informed decisions, and I hope to see this momentum continue.”
“Washington State took a big step forward to preventing a new generation from becoming addicted to nicotine with today’s vote to regulate e-cigarettes,” said prime sponsor Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle). “Consumers deserve to know, and need to know, what they are inhaling into their lungs.”
In 2015, at least 61 e-cigarette poisonings were reported to the Washington State Poison Control Center, with 84 percent concerning 1- to 3-year-olds.
There are few safety regulations on e-cigarettes and vapor products. The federal Food and Drug Administration does not currently regulate ingredients or safety claims made by manufacturers. Some products labeled “nicotine-free” actually contain small amounts of nicotine, and an AGO investigation found some e-liquids being falsely marketed as organic.
A Harvard study recently discovered diacetyl, an ingredient known to cause “popcorn lung” in 75 percent of flavored e-liquids they tested.
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.
Peter Lavallee, Communications Director, (360) 586-0725; PeterL@atg.wa.gov