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@bothell-reporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bothell-reporter.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

File photo
State Supreme Court strikes down $30 car-tab initiative

Justices unanimously agreed that voter-approved Initiative 976 is unconstitutional.

A suspect in a carjacking hangs almost 60 feet up in a tree after climbing it to avoid police on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 near Mill Creek, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
After gunfire, Bothell carjacking suspect climbs a tree

He allegedly passed a trooper at 114 mph on a motorcycle, crashed, stole a car, fled gunshots and climbed 60 feet.

Hilary Franz (left) and Sue Kuehl Pederson
Wildfires, forest health are key issues in race to lead DNR

Republican Sue Kuehl Pederson is challenging incumbent Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz.

power grid electricity power lines blackouts PG&E (Shutterstock)
State extends moratorium on some electric, gas shutoffs

Investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities in WA can’t disconnect customers through April.

Cecil Lacy Jr. (Family photo)
Court: New trial in case of man who told police ‘Can’t breathe’

Cecil Lacy Jr. of Tulalip died in 2015 while in police custody.

A Sept. 10 satellite image shows smoke from U.S. wildfires blanketing the majority of the West Coast. (European Space Agency)
University of Washington professors talk climate change, U.S.-China relations

Downside for climate policy supporters is it can risk alienating moderate or right-leaning voters.

Sightseers at a Snoqualmie Falls viewpoint adjacent to the Salish Lodge & Spa on Feb. 19, 2020. Natalie DeFord/staff photo
25 COVID cases linked to Salish Lodge

Public Health is urging anyone who visited the lodge to monitor for symptoms or get tested.

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.

Car hits hydrant and power pole in Bothell

Luckily there were no injuries

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.

Rendering of the completed boathouse. Courtesy photo/City of Kenmore
Kenmore project will bring public rowing to Rhododendron Park

The project will create a boathouse for both public and school district use

High speed rail and hub cities explored in Cascadia Corridor study

A new paper outlines a potential plan for the region.