If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. File photo

Lawmakers propose sweeping regulations for vaping industry

Bill supporters cite concerns over health issues and teen use.

By Cameron Sheppard, WNPA News Service

Legislation requested by the governor’s office and supported by Democratic senators aims to ban flavored nicotine vaping products and impose sweeping regulations on the vaping industry.

If passed, Senate Bill 6254 would limit the nicotine concentration of vape products, ban certain flavoring chemicals and require vape manufacturers, distributors and retailers to obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board. The bill would also give the board authority to inspect licensed facilities to ensure compliance.

The legislation is proposed in response to rising public health concerns over the widespread use of vape products as well as the growing number of teen users.

“While our nation has made a lot of progress in the last several decades in reducing teen smoking, what we have seen is an explosion in teen vaping,” said Sen. Patty Kuderer, D-Bellevue, one of the bill’s sponsors.

Kuderer cited federal Food and Drug Administration data when she spoke to the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee on Jan. 22, estimating an increase of more than 3 million teen vape users from 2017 to 2019.

“The evidence is clear: it is flavored vaping products that are the hook used to reel these young people in,” Kuderer said.

Another sponsor of the bill, Sen. Gerry Pollet, D-Seattle, testified in support of the proposed law. Pollet said a new generation of people are forming nicotine addictions from the vape products in a similar way to how cigarettes affected past generations.

People within the vape industry also testified to the Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee. Margo Ross, owner of a vapor product store in Moses Lake, claimed that minors were obtaining flavored vape products illegally and that banning these flavors would turn away customers who were using vapor products as a substitute to smoking cigarettes.

Sen. Ann Rivers, R-La Center, expressed concerns that the bill did not explicitly ban the online sale of flavored vapor products, claiming that e-commerce provides a method for minors to obtain these products.

Shaun D’Sylva, owner of multiple vape stores and a nicotine e-liquid manufacturing company, said the regulations imposed by the legislation would effectively kill the vape and e-cigarette industry in the state.

“You’ve given the biggest gift you possibly could to Big Tobacco,” D’Sylva said.

The bill moves next to an executive session in the Senate Health and Long Term Care Committee, which is scheduled for Jan. 27.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@kirklandreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.kirklandreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

The nose of the 500th 787 Dreamliner at the assembly plant in Everett on Sept. 21, 2016. (Kevin Clark / Herald, file)
Report: Boeing will end 787 Dreamliner production in Everett

Boeing declined comment on a Wall Street Journal story saying the passenger jet’s assembly will move to South Carolina.

Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia. File photo
Surge in consumer spending eases state budget challenges

A jump in tax collections cuts a projected $9 billion shortfall in half, acccording to new forecast.

High speed rail and hub cities explored in Cascadia Corridor study

A new paper outlines a potential plan for the region.

Should state cover school bus costs if there are no riders?

With funding tied to getting students to school, districts are uncertain how much money they’ll receive.

The truck of the Renton family as it was found Tuesday. While fleeing the Cold Springs Fire two adults were severely burned and one toddler died. Courtesy photo/Okanogan Sheriff’s Office
Toddler killed as Renton family flees Cold Springs Fire

The parents were severely burned and are being treated at Harborview Medical Center

A plane drops fire retardant on the Palmer Mountain Fire last week. The fire is listed as 84 percent contained, and fully lined. Laura Knowlton/Sound Publishing staff photo
Threat multiplier: How climate change, coronavirus and weather are scorching WA

Dry summer conspired with the pandemic and a wind storm.

Screenshot from the state Employment Security Department’s website at esd.wa.gov.
Workers may qualify for an extra $1,500 in unemployment back pay

A federal program will give some of the state’s unemployed a $300 weekly bump for the past five weeks.

King County moves to Stage 2 burn ban

Outdoor fires, even barbecues or in fire pits, are now prohibited.

Image courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
Massive wildfires incinerate WA

All state Department of Natural Resources lands were closed to recreational activities on Sept. 8.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.

Amazon adds more office space to Bellevue, now as many new jobs as HQ2

The office space for an additional 10,000 jobs, making it 25,000 coming to downtown, is expected to complete in 2023.