One public health crisis gets a ban, the other gets supervised heroin injection sites

These flavored vaping products are now temporarily banned in Washington after a vote by the State Board of Health. Their vote comes in the wake of reported illnesses by users and reports of other deaths in parts of the U.S. linked to such vaping products. KVI's John Carlson voices his concern with the politics involved in the health board's controversial vote. (photo: KOMO News)

Flavored vaping products--including those with nicotine and the cannabis extract THC--were banned in Washington yesterday by a vote of the State Board of Health in response to illnesses, and even death in other states, connected to such products.

The swift move by the State Board of Health is contrasted by the King County Board of Health's continuing effort to open supervised heroin injection sites in Seattle and King County because of the significant use by addicts.

KVI morning talk show host John Carlson says, "Health experts in Seattle say, 'ya know, we need to get serious about heroin. Can we give them a safe place to inject?' But by
god when it comes to vaping, 'Shut it down! Shut it down.'"

Carlson asks , "Why can't they (State Board of Health) get equally vexed about heroin in Seattle or methamphetamine in Snohomish County? Why? Why are they so, you know, 'we need to flex our muscles and show that we care about public health' when it comes to vaping but they roll up their sleeves and say 'nah, nah'. we need a ban on flavored vape products. "

The State ban will last for 120 days and would need to be renewed by the Board of Health.

According to KOMO News, in a Sept. 27 news conference, Gov. Inslee called flavored vape ingredients "a dangerous product that poses a serious health crisis" and "a gateway to addiction" that threatens to hook children on nicotine for life. The ban is necessary because even if a vaping ingredient or compound were conclusively linked to the illnesses, the state would have no way to identify which products contain the substance so they could be removed from store shelves, Inslee said.

Several other states, including Montana and Oregon, have already banned flavored vaping products, at least temporarily.

Click on the image above to listen to Carlson's assessment of the temporary ban in Washington and how it contradicts the advocacy of other health officials and politicians around Puget Sound.

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