April 8, 2015
“If regulatory measures related to licensing and taxation unduly restrict the development of the market, and thus cause extreme increases in retail prices, then the stage will be set for the emergence of a black market similar to that experienced by the cigarette industry.”
Washington State House Bill 1645 has cleared the first hurdle on the track to becoming state law. The bill has been approved by the House Committee on Appropriations by a vote of 18 for vs. 14 against. This is a companion bill to Senate Bill 5573 (still in committee) which I will discuss in tomorrow’s post.
How does a bill become law in the State of Washington? According to the Washington .gov website:
- A bill may be introduced in either the Senate or House of Representatives by a member.
- It is referred to a committee for a hearing. The committee studies the bill and may hold public hearings on it. It can then pass, reject, or take no action on the bill.
- The committee report on the passed bill is read in open session of the House or Senate, and the bill is then referred to the Rules Committee.
- The Rules Committee can either place the bill on the second reading calendar for debate before the entire body, or take no action.
- At the second reading, a bill is subject to debate and amendment before being placed on the third reading calendar for final passage.
- After passing one house, the bill goes through the same procedure in the other house.
- If amendments are made in the other house, the first house must approve the changes.
- When the bill is accepted in both houses, it is signed by the respective leaders and sent to the governor.
- The governor signs the bill into law or may veto all or part of it. If the governor fails to act on the bill, it may become law without a signature.
So there’s still a long way to go. The next big step will be the “debate and amendment” following the second reading. There is much to debate.
House Bill 1645 – Full text
The following are direct quotes taken from the bill as it stands right now [emphasis added].
- Makes it illegal for “licensed vapor products retailers to allow customers to taste vapor products prior to purchase.”
- “Prohibits the retail sale and shipment of vapor products where the sales transaction is conducted through the Internet or by mail order, and prescribes regulatory sanctions and criminal penalties for noncompliance.”
- “Authorizes local governments to impose additional restrictions on the sale, purchase, use, or promotion of of vapor products.”
- “Unless preempted by federal law, the board is authorized to promulgate rules regulating the chemical composition of the liquids contained in vapor products, including substances included for flavoring purposes.”
- “A substance contained in a cartridge sold, marketed, or intended for use in a vapor product that is prefilled and sealed by the manufacturer, and not intended to be opened by the consumer, is exempt from subsection (1) of this section.”
No tasting. No Internet sales. Local governments free to add additional restrictions. No flavors. Big Tobacco vaping products – exempt.
As you read the following, again keep in mind that this is quoted directly from this piece of state legislation [emphasis added]:
“Although it is clear that commerce in vapor products should be subject to stringent regulatory controls, the development of a regulatory framework must be tempered by an awareness of the potential for creating an illegal black market in vapor products. If regulatory measures related to licensing and taxation unduly restrict the development of the market, and thus cause extreme increases in retail prices, then the stage will be set for the emergence of a black market similar to that experienced by the cigarette industry.
The legislature finds, therefore, that this act is necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by preventing youth from having access to addictive vapor products, ensuring that consumers have accurate information about potentially dangerous products, and protecting the public from nicotine poisoning.”
Yes. They walk among us. Are in politics. And continue to breed.
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Dave Coggin has a Master’s Degree in business and spent 35 years in corporate America. He is a co-founder and partner in DIYELS. He has spent the last five years actively researching and following the evolution of the e-cigarette industry. He is a strong proponent of e-cigarettes as the most promising option currently known for tobacco harm reduction. He may be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The opinions presented here are exclusively those of the author. Vaper’s Vortex is offered as a service to our customers and followers. Anyone considering e-cigarettes as an alternative to tobacco cigarettes should seek qualified advice from a medical professional.