This document is a summary of some of the contents of ESSB 6328 (codified as chapter 70.345 RCW). It omits some provisions and details, and is not a substitute for the statute itself. Those seeking legal advice about the meaning of the statutes should consult with an attorney.
Labeling requirements apply to manufacturers and distributors of liquid nicotine containers (not non-nicotine vapor products). Labels must include:
- A warning regarding harmful effects of nicotine;
- A warning to keep the vapor product away from children;
- A warning that vaping is illegal for those under 18;
- The amount of nicotine in milligrams per milliliter of liquid; and
- The total volume of the liquid content of the product in milliliters.
Manufacturers of closed-system nicotine containers must make an annual disclosure to the Department of Health. This applies to all manufacturers that sell, offer for sale, or distribute vapor products in the state.
The disclosure must state the nicotine content of the vapor product, using measurement standards to be established by the Department of Health.
A closed-system nicotine container is:
- A sealed, prefilled, and disposable container of nicotine in a solution or other form in which the container is inserted directly into.
- An electronic cigarette, electronic nicotine delivery system, or other similar product.
- If the nicotine in the container is inaccessible through customary or reasonably foreseeable handling or use,
- Including reasonably foreseeable ingestion or other contact by children.
Requirements become effective on June 28, 2016.
- Requirements will expire on a date of which the Liquor and Cannabis Board (LCB) will give notice to affected parties, the Legislature, and others.
- The expiration date to be established by the LCB will be the effective date of regulations issued by the US Food and Drug Administration, when those regulations mandate warning or advertising requirements for vapor products.
Retailers of Cigarettes and Related Products
The Department of Health may issue and distribute free of charge a sign stating that the 18 year old age limit applies to both tobacco and vapor products. The sign, must be displayed in a prominent location in the licensed premises.
This sign would be distributed to any person that is both licensed by LCB as both a retailer of vapor products or:
- A retailer or wholesaler of cigarettes or other products whose sale is governed by chapter 82.24 RCW, or
- A retailer or distributor of “tobacco products” other than cigarettes under chapter 82.26 (cigars and other tobacco products except cigarettes).
Sampling and Tasting Requirements of Vapor Products Law
Effective June 28, 2016, no one may allow tastings of vapor products unless:
- The person is a licensed retailer of vapor products.
- The tasting is offered only on the licensed premises.
- The tasting is in licensed premises not open to persons under 18.
- The customer does not remove the product from the licensed premises.
- The customer either explicitly consents to taste a vapor product that contains nicotine.
- Is offered only vapor products that contain no nicotine.
If the vapor device used for tasting purposes is owned and maintained by the retailer, then the retailer must do one of two things:
- Attach a new disposable mouthpiece to the tip for each customer, or
- Throw away the vapor device after each tasting.
Federal Ban – effective August 8, 2016
Rules announced by the US Food and Drug Administration further limit what can be tasted and sampled in Washington. The FDA prohibits free samples of vapor products containing nicotine and all tobacco products. The FDA has also extended its regulation to cigars,
hookah tobacco, and pipe tobacco. This sampling ban applies to all products that contain tobacco or nicotine.
If a retailer allows a customer to taste a tobacco or nicotine product at no cost—i.e., in the case of vapor products, allows the customer to inhale the vapor, instead of just holding or sniffing the product—this is considered a free sample under federal law. Therefore, this form of tasting at no cost is banned by the FDA.
After the FDA Ban
After the FDA ban takes effect on August 8, 2016, tastings of vapor products that do not contain any nicotine may continue under the state vapor products law as described above. Tastings of vapor products that contain nicotine at no cost are banned.