Inslee signs bill strengthening protections for minors against sale and use of e-cigarettes and vapor products

Story Body

SEATAC – Gov. Jay Inslee today signed SB 6328 that strengthens protections for minors against the sale and use of e-cigarettes and vapor products. Inslee was joined by health advocates, legislators and supporters at the Foundation for Healthy Generations’ Science of HOPE conference.

“Through our Healthiest Next Generation initiative, we are working to ensure our kids’ healthy future. The bill I signed today is a part of that effort. These new rules will help keep e-cigarettes and vaping products out of the hands, mouths and lungs of children and youth,” Inslee said. "Once again, Washington leads the way in innovative approaches, especially with regard to internet and distributor sales and the focus on youth substance use prevention."

SB 6328 will bring statewide regulation and enforcement to a nearly unregulated industry, and includes several provisions of legislation originally proposed by Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson.

SB 6328 will:

  • Require child-resistant packaging on e-cigarette and vapor products;
  • Require the disclosure of the nicotine level and warning labels on all vapor product packaging;
  • Require retailers to be licensed and to check identification at the point of sale;
  • Prohibit the sale of products from open display cases;
  • Regulate internet and distributor markets;
  • Provide enforcement and penalties for retailers who break the laws;
  • Increase tobacco retailer fees and fines;
  • Ban the use of vapor products in schools, school buses and 500 feet from schools;
  • Allow local bans in indoor spaces and most outdoor areas where children congregate; and
  • Allow the Department of Health and local health departments to act in public health emergencies in certain instances to analyze and seize products and shut down stores when human health is at risk.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, during 2014–2015, current use of e-cigarettes increased dramatically among middle and high school students. One in five high school seniors in Washington reported using e-cigarettes in 2014, up from one in 14 in 2012, and recent studies show the increasing popularity of vaping marijuana among youth.

“With its incredible growth and few regulations, the vape industry has been the wild west in a new frontier of nicotine products,” Ferguson said. “This law brings a common sense, statewide framework that will protect consumers and prevent youth access to these products.”

SB 6328, a bipartisan effort, was introduced by state Sen. Bruce Dammeier who worked with state Reps. Pollet, Cody, Harris and Hurst, along with Senators Frockt, Rivers and Cleveland.

“We need to make sure our children are physically active, eating well and not using cigarettes, electronic smoking devices, marijuana or other harmful substances,” said Rep. Paul Harris (R-Vancouver). “The best way to prevent addiction and other potential harm is to ensure youth don’t start smoking in the first place.”

SB 6328 was developed in partnership with Washington retailers and people who use vapor products. Counties and public health departments throughout the state led the way in establishing this regulation and advocating strongly for key provisions.

About the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative
Gov. Inslee launched the Healthiest Next Generation Initiative in 2014. The initiative offers the opportunity for community organizations, businesses, state and local agencies and other partners to collaborate under a common goal: help our children to eat well, maintain a healthy weight and enjoy active lives, and avoid harmful substances by promoting healthful choices in early learning settings, schools and communities. Learn more about the Healthiest Next Generation in schools and join the conversation at #HealthiestNextGen.

Media Contacts

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office