State lawmakers retreat on flavored vaping ban

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- Lawmakers have backed down from their proposal to ban flavored vape products.

Originally, Senate Bill 6254 would have made permanent the emergency ban on flavored vape products that was approved by the Board of Health in October. But The Seattle Times reports the legislation was  amended Monday in the Senate, and now allows for the sale of such products to those 21 and older.

Gov. Jay Inslee’s senior public health policy adviser Molly Voris said the governor is “disappointed” with the amendment.

The 120-day statewide ban expires Friday and came after the U.S. Surgeon General proclaimed youth vapor use an epidemic. Stores in Washington state will be able to start selling flavored vape products again on Saturday.

According to National Youth Tobacco Survey results cited in the report, 20.8% of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2018. In 2019, it rose to 27.5%.