Washington is joining several other states in banning the sale of flavored vaping products amid concern over the mysterious lung illness that has sickened hundreds of people and killed about a dozen across the country. Gov. Jay Inslee signed an executive order Friday asking the state Board of Health to issue the emergency rule at its next meeting, scheduled for Oct. 9. The ban, initially slated to last four months but which could be renewed, will apply to products containing nicotine as well as the cannabis extract THC. It wouldn't apply at tribal shops, but the governor's office said the administration is reaching out to tribal governments for their cooperation, per the AP. "We need to act for the public health of our people," said Inslee. "I'm confident this executive order will save lives."
The vaping industry has been heavily criticized for marketing flavors such as vanilla and mango that could appeal to kids. New York, Michigan, and Rhode Island are among the states that have announced at least temporary bans. Officials in Oregon and California have urged consumers to stop using them. Massachusetts has gone the furthest, issuing a four-month ban on all vaping products—flavored or not. President Trump has said he plans to ban flavored vaping products nationally. More than 800 cases of the illness have been reported across the US. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Friday that its investigation into the outbreak is increasingly focused on products that contain the marijuana compound THC.
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