Local health officials recommend ban on flavored vaping liquids

SEATTLE -- Local health officials are calling for bans on flavored liquid for vaping, but some say this would put them out of businesses.

Wednesday, officials with the Washington State Department of Health and the Public Health, Seattle and King County announced the first confirmed vaping related lung illness found in Washington.

“Everyone should be aware of the risk for severe lung disease, and avoid using e-cigarettes, and avoid vaping at this time, until the cause of the outbreak is known,” said Jeff Duchin, Health Officer with Public Health, Seattle and King County.

State law prevents counties and municipalities from making their own regulations, but officials say they hope the state considers making changes.

“If we had the authority, I would recommend that we ban all flavored products,” said Duchin.

However, some business owners say that would be detrimental to their livelihood.

“We would be shut down overnight without flavors; one hundred percent,” said Jason Stanifer.

Stanifer is the owner of Vape Savvy.

He says he thinks stricter regulations to protect young people from vaping is a great idea.

“I agree. I think this a problem, and I think it needs to be addressed. But I think it can be addressed while still giving people, adults, discerning adults that want some healthier alternative to combustible cigarette smoking an alternative,” said Stanifer.

King County Executive Dow Constantine is also calling for stricter regulations with vaping.

"With the recent surge in severe lung illnesses, and what we already know about the addictive products used in vaping, we can no longer be hampered in protecting the health of our young people," he said in a statement. "It is imperative that the state take further action and expand regulations on tobacco and vaping products. If the legislature is unwilling to strengthen statewide protections, then it must lift preemption. Just like with firearms, state law prevents local jurisdictions from swiftly responding to the unique health issues impacting their communities."