SEATTLE (AP) – Health officials in Washington state have formally adopted a temporary ban of the sale of flavored vaping products amid concern over a lung illness that has sickened hundreds of people.
The vote by the state Board of Health came two weeks after Gov. Jay Inslee issued an executive order asking for the emergency rule to be issued. The board’s vote was unanimous, with one member abstaining, and the rule is expected to take effect this week. Hundreds of vaping supporters spoke against the order in at a public meeting in Seattle, saying that it will drive people to black market products or back to smoking tobacco.
The ban, initially slated to last four months but which could be renewed, will apply to flavored products containing nicotine as well as the flavored products with the cannabis extract THC.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating reports of more than 1,000 illnesses nationwide linked to vaping, including at least 18 deaths in 15 states.