Immediate Action Required on Flavored Vapor Products

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Left justified header

October 11, 2019

To:       All Tobacco and Vapor Product Licensees

Fr:        Liquor and Cannabis Board

Re:       Immediate Action Required on Flavored Vapor Products


This message follows up Wednesday’s Washington State Board of Health meeting where the Board of Health took action in response to Governor Inslee’s Executive Order 19-03: Addressing the Vaping Use Public Health Crisis. It adopted temporary emergency rules that direct immediate action by both cannabis licensees and vapor product licensees. The authority to implement was predicated on that action by the Board of Health. The Board of Health’s rules went into effect October 10, 2019.



Multiple federal, state and local agencies and their partners are investigating a multistate outbreak of lung injury associated with the use or vaping of both regulated and illicit vapor products. This investigation is ongoing and has not identified a single cause, but all reported cases have a history of using vapor products. Most patients with severe lung disease have reported a history of using vapor products containing THC. Some have reported the use of vapor products containing only nicotine. Youth vapor product use has increased significantly over the last several years, and research consistently shows that flavors contribute to the initiation of vapor product use among adolescents and young adults.


Executive Order

On Sept. 27, 2019, Gov. Inslee issued Executive Order 19-03. This order directs the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) and the Department of Health (Health) to immediately take certain actions to protect public health. In addition, the agencies are directed to work together to draft legislative proposals to bring tighter regulation to the non-cannabis vapor industry.


Immediate Action Required

The sale of flavored vapor products by tobacco and vapor product licensees is prohibited – effective Oct. 10, 2019. Flavored vapor products are defined in the Board of Health’s rules.

  1. Cease Sales of Flavored Vapor Products. The LCB directs all tobacco retailers and vapor licensees to immediately cease sales and/or gifting of flavored vapor products.
  2. Signage. Print and prominently post this warning sign in retail locations. A Spanish version will be available soon.
  3. Cooperate with the ongoing epidemiological investigation. Local, state and federal health agencies are looking into which products have been involved with Washington cases of lung injury. We ask for your cooperation if you are contacted by someone from a state or federal epidemiology team and/or a representative from your local health jurisdiction.

The LCB is coordinating with other state agencies and will post on its website options for disposition of product. A central online clearinghouse will be posted on LCB’s Vapor and Public Health page. Please refer to this site in the coming weeks for the most current information.


Additional Information

For more information, please visit:





Thank You for Cooperation

We appreciate your cooperation and collaboration on this important public health matter.