PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Health officials in Oregon and Washington are working to create new regulations on vape products after an uptick in lung illness related to the products.
The Oregon Health Authority said they are working every day to come up with rules by the end of the week.
This comes as Washington health officials are expected to meet to discuss regulations there.
The Washington State Board of Health will take up Governor Jay Inslee’s executive order. He’s asking them to adopt emergency rules to ban all flavored vape products, including those with nicotine and THC.
It directs the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board to ban any ingredients that are found to cause the lung illness.
Store owners are worried about the health implications but also the impact on their businesses.
“If they pass this, it’ll be a huge disservice. I already have a huge number of my customers, just because of the hysteria, decide to go back to cigarettes,” Hawaiian Vape owner Steven Berry said. “And we know last year alone, cigarettes killed 440,000. We’re putting those people right back onto a product that’s proven to kill them.”
According to the CDC, as of October 1, there are more than 1,000 lung injury cases and 18 deaths. Washington has seen seven cases and Oregon has seen nine with two deaths.