Strong Vaping Regulations Coming, Bills Passed by WA Legislature
Most stores won't sell an obviously 14 or 15-year-old an e-cig. But surprisingly, the industry has largely been unregulated since the popularity of the electronic smoking devices has exploded a couple of years ago. Now, get ready for a heavy dose of state regulations.
Both the State House and Senate have passed a series of new bills that are headed to Gov. Jay Inslee's desk, and he will most certainly sign them.
Senate Bill 6238 was also approved by the House (companion bill) and here's what is store:
- Vaping products will be defined to include the liquid nicotine that goes in them and clearly define the e-cigs and all other associated products.
- The vendors who then sell these products would have to be licensed through the State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board, much the same as vendors who sell tobacco products.
- Labeling requirements would have to be met, explaining on the product the associated and potential health effects. Opponents say this will most certainly raise prices, to cover additional cost of producing and affecting the labels.
- A stronger crackdown on under-18 sales. Theoretically it's illegal to sell e-cigs to anyone under 18 in WA, but because the industry was largely unregulated, the practice was not uncommon.
No word on when Inslee is expected to sign the Senate and other bills related to vaping. Opponents say by placing significant regulations upon vendors, it will increase costs. They also point to pending FDA action that could bring e-cigs under the same basic umbrella as certain medicines and drugs. They would have to pass a series of tests and meet health criteria before being sold to the public. Currently, new technology is coming out almost daily in the e-cig development world, and critics say such regulations would slow it to a trickle. It would also significantly hamper companies who've invested a lot of money in new developments, if they don't make it to market.