The Lowdown on Washington State’s New Vaporizer Restrictions
You may have heard in recent news reports that there are going to be a new slew of vape regulations in Washington state. These new vape laws in Washington are different from the proposed FDA regulations and the upcoming tax changes for vapers.
Washington’s new laws are built around safety and security without significantly encroaching on consumers’ ability to vape when they desire to do so.
Here’s what you need to know about the proposed legislature in the state of Washington.
There’s a Time and a Place
The first part of the new Washington state vaporizer laws addresses places that people can and cannot vape. For example, with the new laws in place, there would be no vaping in schools, day care centers and on school buses. Fortunately, many people in the vape community are already on board with these unwritten rules, and take great pride in being part of a more conscientious crowd.
Packaging and Labeling
The other half of the Washington state vape laws addressed the need for a standard in labeling and packaging. Currently there are very few national standards in this regard. These new regulations would require companies to disclose the nicotine content of their e-liquids. All ingredients would also need to be listed on the bottle.
This is a small step down the path of the proposed national laws, requiring manufacturers to list their ingredients, but also to have their blends inspected and approved before they can go to market.
Licensing and Fees
Through the course of this new legislation, there will also be a number of new licensing processes and fees instituted for any devices or e-liquids sold within Washington state. Obviously, these fees are discouraging to manufacturers and vape shop owners alike.
However, the state plans to use the money to cover the cost of compliance checks on a rolling basis. The brunt of the focus will be keeping vape products out of the hands of minors. As such, vape shops will be subject to laws similar to smoke shops and liquor stores for verifying IDs.
For the People
Critics of the new laws suggest that forcing small time manufacturers to start providing all of this extra information on their bottles will drastically slow them down and make their products harder to come by. On the other hand, many vapers support the new laws and simply want to know that their chosen products are actually safe for use according to a standardized system of testing. There is also some consideration being given to the testing of vaporizer devices for mechanical and electrical safety as well, due to the number of dangerous explosions that have happened recently.
Along with these new safety rules, some Washington counties are also seeking to add vaping to their smoking ban, effectively keeping vaping out of restaurants and other public facilities. There seems to be mixed feelings about whether or not this is fair given the differences between second-hand smoke and vapor.
However, many people agree that large clouds of vapor, especially with strong scents, can be offensive to the general public, and for vapers trying to gain legitimacy and support in the community, it is in their best interest not to bring vaporizers into unwanted environments.
Washington state lawmakers spent a significant amount of time meeting with vaporizer experts, health experts and leaders in the tobacco industry to find a suitable balance for these laws. They have agreed that local county legislatures are allowed to ban indoor vaping at businesses, and they can ban vaping in places where children gather.
However, they cannot ban vaping outdoors in public in a general sense. They have also made the concession that licensed vape shops will still be allowed to provide free samples within their doors under the new safety guidelines, which is a huge plus for shop owners who were in despair over the loss of this major selling technique.
There is still a lot to be decided about the new vaporizer proposal before it gets enacted. Early stages of the new fee structure are expected to hit by October. On the other hand, there is ongoing discussion about the allowance of vape lounges and how to roll out compliance checks going forward.
With more than 6,000 vape shops state-wide, lawmakers are expected to start accepting applications in early September for products. There will likely be a lengthy backlog as inspectors try to get through all of the products that are already on the market, before they can get to any new vaporizer products that are being introduced.
At VaporFi, we are keeping close tabs on the events in the state of Washington and around the country as they relate to our industry. We believe in the benefits of vaping and wholeheartedly desire that our customers continue to have access to our fine products even with the coming governmental regulations.
Gianna Del Monte is the Brand Manager at VaporFi. She has been in the vaping industry since June 2015 and has extensive experience in successfully managing and marketing a variety of new vapor product launches. Originally from New Jersey, Gianna has lived in the Miami area for the last 5 years.
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