SEATTLE — The ban on flavored cartridges for e-cigarettes and vape pens that took effect Thursday statewide was felt immediately by some vape shop owners who said they'd have to consider letting employees go.
“We're going to have to let all of the employees go, figure out what we're going to do with all of the spaces, whether we transition them into some other store…who knows? We're not sure,” said Rick Smead, who owns Brick House Vapors in Vancouver.
In Seattle, many vape stores KING 5 contacted said they couldn't comment right away, as they were busy trying to adjust to the new rule.
One store, Pioneer Vape in Seattle, put a sign out front that really spoke for itself.
"Flavor ban has passed, no e-liquid available. We will have hardware for sale for as long as we can," read the sign. "Thank Inslee for removing our choices and business."
Meanwhile, in Olympia, the Department of Health is working with law enforcement to investigate after the department received an online threat over the ban decision.
Governor Jay Inslee signed the executive order in September to ban flavored vaping products following several cases of lung illnesses associated with vaping.
The total number of lung-illnesses associated with vaping in Washington state remains at seven, according to the Department of Health.
So far, the CDC said that 1,080 confirmed and probable cases have been reported in 48 states and one U.S. territory, including 18 deaths in 15 states.
The Washington State Board of Health approved the ban that is in effect until Feb. 7, 2020.
Sellers will also now be required to post warning signs about the risk of vaping-related lung disease.