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

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.

 


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Map of proposed landfill expansion sites (screenshot from King County website)
Waste management expert knocks county’s plan to expand landfill

The waste management advocate said the decision to expand seems pre-determined despite assessment.

This image was shared by the King County Sheriff’s Office in announcing they had identified the driver in the fatal hit-and-run of a Maple Valley man. COURTESY PHOTO, King County Sheriff’s Office
King County Sheriff’s Office released this photo of the Toyota Camry that reportedly hit and killed a Maple Valley man in July. COURTESY PHOTO, King County Sheriff’s Office
SeaTac girl, 15, charged with second-degree murder in jogger’s death

Reportedly used her vehicle to ‘scare him’ while driving in Maple Valley

file photo
State employees including first responders sue state over vaccine mandate

The lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 90 plaintiffs claims Inslee’s order is unconstitutional.

Police lights
Enumclaw, Black Diamond police blotter | Aug. 24 – Sept. 8 |

Shoplifting, thefts and reports of drug paraphernalia.

Photo by Ashley Britschgi 
Jaeda Walker eyes her wooden ax throw.
Log show returns, first with the kids

The main event returns this weekend with ax throwing, log rolling and more.

Mandates and missions: How local organizations are gearing up for vaccine deadline

Gov. Inslee says many government workers must be vaccinated by Oct. 18. What will that look like?

Pixabay photo
Union carpenters to go on strike, expected to impact Eastside Microsoft projects

Members authorized strike after rejecting AGC offer for the fourth time.

file photo
The state’s hospitals face “unprecedented collapse” amid COVID uptick warn healthcare unions

Union spokeperson says understaffing was a problem even before the pandemic.

File photo
Washington Association of Sheriffs & Police Chiefs condemns recent police ambushes

Two officer targeted shooting were reported last week in South King County.

Most Read