Health board to vote on e-cigarette regulations

A week from today, the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health will vote on a regulation that aims to limit underage use and possession of e-cigarettes and vaping products.

E-cigarettes heat up e-liquid inside the device

A week from today, the Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health will vote on a regulation that aims to limit underage use and possession of e-cigarettes and vaping products.

The board will be taking public testimony on the proposed regulation at approximately 3 p.m. Nov 18 before the vote.

The proposed regulation would make it illegal to use e-cigarettes and other vapor products in public places.

This includes adult-only venues and places of work. Bans on e-cigarettes in the work place are optional at the discretion of the employer.

Although it has been illegal for e-cigarette and vapor product vendors to sell minors tobacco and vapor products, it has not been illegal for minors to possess e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine.

The proposed regulation would make it illegal for minors to possess all vapor products.

E-cigarette and vapor retailers will be required to have an annual permit to continue to sell vapor products if the regulation passes.

The annual retail permit fee is estimated to be around $375.

Finally, child-resistant packing on vapor products will be required for e-cigarette and vapor products.

The Food and Drug Administration does not currently require vapor product packaging to be child-resistant.

What’s the harm?

For those not in the know, e-cigarettes are electrical devices that vaporizes e-liquid for the user to inhale, unlike traditional cigarette, which release chemicals in the form of smoke.

E-liquid consists of liquid nicotine, flavoring and other chemicals. The potency of liquid nicotine in e-liquid can vary from product to product, and e-liquid without nicotine can also be purchased.

The danger of minors using e-cigarettes is in the potential of addiction to nicotine and the risk of minors, especially young children, having easy access to a potent poison, according to the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department.

The Health Department cited part of the 2014 Healthy Youth Survey (select “Tobacco Use” for relevant grades near the bottom of the page, to the left, for results), which studied health patterns of middle and high school students throughout Washington.

According to the survey, 23 percent of Washington high school seniors and 18 percent of sophomores used e-cigarettes 30 days prior to the survey in 2014.

In Pierce County, 20 percent of sophomores and 23 percent of seniors used e-cigarettes in 2014.

Fourteen percent of King County sophomores and 22 percent of seniors used e-cigarettes in 2014.

Although the Healthy Youth Survey started collecting data on e-cigarette smoking patterns on middle and high schoolers in 2014 and has no data for previous years, the survey shows e-cigarette use is consistently equal to, and in most cases higher, than traditional cigarette and smokeless (chewing) tobacco use.

Besides being an addictive substance, liquid nicotine is also a potent poison that can not only be inhaled as a vapor, but absorbed through the skin.

The amount of liquid nicotine in e-liquid varies, but according to Dr. Lee Cantrell, director of the San Diego division of the California Poison Control System, children exposed to less than a tablespoon of e-liquid can seriously harm or kill them, he told the New York Times.

The Washington State Poison Center started receiving phone calls related to e-cigarettes and liquid nicotine in 2010. The Poison Center received two calls that year.

In 2013, the Poison Center received 73 calls, and then 182 calls in 2014.

Sixty percent of the calls made to the Poison Center in 2014 concerned a child between 1 and 3 years old.

Cancer?

Whether or not e-cigarettes and e-liquid cause cancer is a question that is still up in the air.

Unlike the upward of 69 different carcinogens found in cigarettes, nicotine itself has not been shown to be a carcinogen, according to the 2010 Surgeon General’s Report.

However, some studies show e-cigarettes may still release harmful chemicals besides nicotine. Claims have been made that high voltage e-cigarettes release vaporized formaldehyde, a carcinogen also found in traditional cigarette smoke, but at higher levels than cigarette smoke.

 

More in News

Citizen group urges council to start pool planning

With the Sumner High School pool closing at the end of the 2018-2019 swim season, residents are asking the City of Bonney Lake to build a city pool to house the Panther and Spartan swim teams. A presentation on why the council should start planning a pool as quickly as possible is being held Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Teacher, student reconnect at living center after 66 years

A person can change in 66 years. At the very least, they’re going to look pretty different. So when Robert Terrell, 96, and Margaret (Peggy) Burley, 75, ran into each other at Bonney Lake’s Cedar Ridge assisted living facility last August, neither of them realized they had met before — at an elementary school, where he was a fourth-grade teacher, and she was a part of his first ever class.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

Sumner School District seeks name ideas for new elementary school

Want to name your new local school? Just fill out a short form by Jan. 26

Black Diamond hits the reset button

The new Black Diamond City Council wasted no time on settling in and testing the political waters. On their first meeting of the year, new Councilwomen Melissa Oglesbee and Erin Stout and returning Councilwomen Tamie Deady and Janie Edelman marched through a long list of agenda items, many of which reversed council policies and goals set over the last two years.

Judge reproaches Black Diamond mayor, former city council majority

In a summary judgement hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Janet Helson said she was troubled by both the actions of Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and former City Council majority Pat Pepper, Brian Weber, and Erika Morgan over the last two years concerning potential Open Public Meetings Act violations.

Man shot in Burnett; suspect turns himself in

According to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department, the victim was driven to the Burnett Store in order to report he was shot by his brother. The suspect turned himself in approximately three hours later.

Garbage, water, sewer rates increase in Enumclaw

Having made the leap into a new year, Enumclaw property owners are now seeing increases to nearly all their utility rates. Here’s a look at the 2018 increases for city services, along with the financial impact on customers.

WA infant mortality rate below U.S. rate, disparities still remain | Department of Health

Washington ranks eighth in the nation for the lowest infant deaths, yet African-American and American Indian families still experience disproportionate rates of infant mortality.

Most Read