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The ‘most important thing’ in Washington’s bid to curb vaping

Could a vaping ban do more harm than good? (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

A recently-added amendment that would have permanently banned flavored vaping products, instead limits sales to anyone 21 and over. That being so, the part of the bill we really need to pay attention to isn’t related to flavors at all.

Mike: Washington’s vaping ban is little more than a political ploy

“The most important thing is a limit on nicotine,” said KIRO Nights co-host Mike Lewis.

The proposal on the table in Olympia significantly limits the amount of nicotine allowed in vape products, with Juul currently including nearly three times as much as what the bill would allow, should it be approved.

Limiting nicotine is a measure that’s largely proved successful in Great Britain, where there have been far fewer instances of lung illness, and a decreasing number of smokers. In fact, in the United Kingdom, there have been zero deaths and “few if any cases of lung illness directly attributed to vaping,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

“So for kids, it wasn’t the flavors, it was the fact they were getting addicted,” Lewis pointed out.

Vape store struggling with sales and layoffs due to WA flavored vaping ban

The intended goal for Washington’s own legislation was originally to limit vaping among kids. The hope was that by making a temporary ban on flavored vape products permanent, it would discourage teenagers from picking up the habit.

That saw pushback from the vaping industry statewide, who have argued that a ban would severely hurt businesses, and only lead to a larger, more-prevalent black market.

According to The Seattle Times, Gov. Jay Inslee is “disappointed” with the new amendment simply limiting flavored products to 21-and-up consumers, and his office intends to continue pushing a full ban down the line.

Listen to KIRO Nights weeknights from 7 – 10 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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