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A case in favor of a Washington vaping ban (for now)

(AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer, File)

As momentum picks up both in Washington state and nationwide for bans on vaping products and flavored e-cigarette juice, many have called the idea a prime example of government overreach. But when it comes to protecting the general public from a hazardous product, a temporary ban could be a wise move.

Outlook good for Portland man almost killed by vaping-related illness

“If there’s something out there that is dangerous, that is hurting people, and we don’t know why, sure, then, yeah. Alright. Shut it down for a minute, turn the lights off, and let’s focus on what the issue is here,” said KIRO Nights co-host Aaron Mason.

Health officials have identified 13 deaths nationwide as a result of vape-related illnesses. In total, federal health officials have identified over 805 cases of illness across 46 states and the Virgin Islands.

The exact cause of these illnesses largely remains a mystery, but it’s believed that it can be traced back to a chemical in vape juice called Vitamin E acetate. While that’s still being determined, though, perhaps a vaping ban can exist as a stopgap.

“Once we figure it out and consumers are aware of the risks associated with using the product, then we can put it back on the market,” Mason proposed.

Concerns over vaping continue to ramp up in King County, statewide

All this saw Washington Gov. Jay Inslee issue an executive order, asking that the state health department vote to approve a ban on all flavored vape products. Outside of Washington, cities like San Francisco have taken even harsher action, banning the sale of e-cigarettes altogether.

For KIRO Nights co-host Gee Scott, that all boils down to one fact.

“I don’t think you should be vaping, period,” he noted. “I’ve been saying this before it became a problem. I don’t think you should smoke tobacco. I don’t think you should be smoking e-cigarettes. None of that.”

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