A group that challenged Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health rules regulating the vaping industry won a partial victory in court Friday.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Bryan Chushcoff ordered that a section of the rules requiring vaping businesses to install expensive ventilation equipment be temporarily suspended. Chushcoff said the health department had not yet done an adequate study of such systems nor established benchmark guidelines for vaping businesses to follow.
Chushcoff decided to take a wait-and-see attitude on the rest of the rules, which include licensing requirements and prohibitions on vaping in indoor public places and other locations where tobacco cigarette smoking is restricted.
The judge said he was reluctant to make further rulings until Gov. Jay Inslee acts on statewide vaping regulations passed by the Legislature during the last session. Those rules require warning labels and childproof packaging, disclosure of nicotine content and a ban on online sales to minors. They also restrict vaping in parks, playgrounds and other places where children gather.
The law is on Inslee’s desk. He can sign it, veto all or part of it, or let it become law without his signature.
Health Board attorney Lori Bemis said the board is scheduled to talk about the state regulations at its meeting in May and decide how or whether to rewrite its rules to comply with state law.
Chushcoff scheduled a hearing next month to consider, in light of whatever action Inslee takes, the merits of the rest of the case filed against the Health Board by the Pink Lung Brigade.