Skip to main content

Washington becomes the latest state to seek ban of flavored vaping products

Following 12 recent deaths and hundreds of illnesses that are being blamed on vaping, Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee is seeking to impose an emergency ban on flavored e-cigarette products. The state would join Michigan and New York in banning flavored products, while Massachusetts has halted all sales of e-cigarettes for four months.

The Washington ban includes products that contain THC. “If I had a loved one, I would just tell them you’re playing dice with your lungs,” Inslee said, according to the Seattle Times.

Because the Washington State Board of Health doesn’t meet until October 9, Inslee’s executive order won’t go into effect until the board uses its emergency power to enact the ban.

The Centers for Disease Control is investigating the causes of the lung injuries, and it said Friday that most of them have been linked to THC capsules. The deaths have occurred in 10 states, while 804 cases of vaping-related lung illnesses have been reported in 46 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Based on this recent data, the CDC recommends people consider refraining from use of e-cigarette or vaping products, particularly those containing THC,” the agency said Friday.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee
Alex Wong / Getty Images

The CDC still isn’t sure exactly what is causing the outbreak. Part of the difficulty is patients who’ve been diagnosed with the lung problems report using a variety of products and substances, making it difficult to narrow down the culprit, if it is only a single one.

Earlier this month, President Donald Trump held a press conference about the recent outbreak of illnesses, and his administration has proposed a nationwide ban of flavored e-cigarettes.

“Not only is it a problem overall, but really, specifically, with respect for children,” he said. “We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it.”

On September 25, Kevin Burns stepped down as CEO of Juul Labs. The popular e-cigarette company — the single biggest e-cigarette manufacturer in the country — announced that it was suspending all print, broadcast, and digital advertising in the U.S. amid the lung injuries and concerns about teen vaping.

Federal authorities have also announced a criminal investigation against Juul. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are also investigating, An FTC probe is looking into whether Juul’s marketing targeted minors.

Jenny McGrath
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Jenny McGrath is a senior writer at Digital Trends covering the intersection of tech and the arts and the environment. Before…
Juul sold tainted pods to people ‘drunk and vaping like mo-fos,’ lawsuit claims
juul labs ceo kevin burns resigns electronic cigarette vaping vaporettes e v3

A new lawsuit filed against Juul Labs on Tuesday claims the company shipped out one million contaminated e-cigarette products without telling anyone -- or recalling them.

Filed by the company’s former senior vice president of finance, Siddharth Breja, the lawsuit, first reported by Buzzfeed, alleges that he experienced retaliation after raising his concerns to the then-CEO Kevin Burns. Breja suggested to Burns that the company should include some expiration date on its products, which Burns shot down. 

Read more
Poll: Majority of Americans support vape ban, doubt it helps people quit smoking
juul labs ceo kevin burns resigns electronic cigarette vaping vaporettes e v3

A majority of Americans support a federal flavored vape ban, and doubt e-cigarettes truly help people quit smoking cigarettes, according to new polling data from YouGov. Additionally, Americans consider vaping to be challenging to quit -- contradicting years of industry marketing that suggests vaping works as a cessation aid.

52% support a ban at the federal level with 29% opposing according to results shared with Digital Trends, with support for municipal and state-level bans at similar levels. Nine in ten respondents reported hearing at least something about the vaping illness epidemic in the news, showing Americans are paying attention to the ongoing crisis.

Read more
Ban Juul, not vaping
ban juul not vaping electronic cigarette pods header

Ask most vaping advocates, and they'll be honest with you: Teen e-cigarette use is an issue.

The evidence seems clear: Study after study shows a dramatic increase. The National Youth Tobacco Survey found that 21% of high school students and 5% of middle school students tried e-cigarettes in 2018, an increase of 78% and 48% respectively over the previous year.

Read more