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Board of Health updates local e-cigarette regulations

August 2, 2016

Local e-cig rules now consistent with new statewide vaping law

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department one of the first in the state to regulate vaping products. New state law expands public health protections, allows for some local flexibility. FDA rules now regulate e-cigs like tobacco products.

TACOMA, Wash. – Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health’s revised regulations for e-cigarette and vapor products are available online: The board voted to update the regulations at its July 6 meeting to align with the new state law that went into effect on June 28.

The revisions removed parts of the local code relating to activities that the state will regulate under SB 6328. They include:

  • Licensing or retail sale of vapor products—Retailers must obtain licenses from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) to sell vapor products. Retailers can apply with LCB beginning Aug. 1.
  • LCB regulations include ID requirement for sales, signage, coupons and product placement.
  • LCB will also regulate the delivery of vapor products including internet sales.
  • Vapor product use allowed outdoors; with exceptions for areas where children congregate, including childcare facilities and schools.
  • Vapor product possession or use for youth under 18 years of age—It is illegal statewide.

In addition, and consistent with the new state law, the Board of Health adopted local e-cigarette rules that:

  • Prohibit the use of vapor products in indoor public places and places of employment.
  • Regulate sampling by specifying requirements for ventilation systems and other restrictions.
  • Issue penalties for violations of the local code and fees for re-inspections.
  • Prohibit use of vapor products within 25 feet of entrances, exits, windows, and ventilation intakes.
  • Identify additional locations where outdoor use of vapor products is prohibited, including beaches and sporting arenas.

Effective Aug. 8, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) will regulate vapor products and e-cigarettes similar to tobacco products. The FDA will:

  • Review new vapor products not yet on the market.
  • Help prevent misleading claims by vapor product manufacturers.
  • Evaluate the ingredients of vapor products and how they are made.
  • Communicate the potential risks of vapor products.

Read the federal regulations:

On Nov. 18, 2015, Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health passed Chapter 9 of the Environmental Code: Restrictions on Sale, Use and Availability of Vapor Products and Unregulated Nicotine Devices Regulation. The state legislature passed statewide e-cigarette regulations March 29 and the Governor signed SB 6328 into law April 19. The new state law preempted some but not all of the local requirements.

Before making the adjustments to the local Chapter 9 code, the Board of Health considered the matter in a June 18 study session and accepted public comment on the proposed changes from June 6-24 and at its regular meeting on July 6.

Read the full administrative record and learn more about e-cigarettes and health at or call (253) 798-3548.

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager
(253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822 (cell/text),
Steve Metcalf, Communications Specialist
(253) 798-6540, (253) 345-8238, (cell/text),

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