Governor Kate Brown signed an executive order directing the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) to take immediate action to protect Oregonians from vaping-related risks. The executive order calls for OHA and OLCC to ban the sale of all flavored vaping, including e-cigarette, products in Oregon for 180 days.
This temporary ban of flavored vaping products is a response to the sudden emergence of severe lung illnesses related to vaping.
On September 26, the Oregon Health Authority issued a public health warning advising all Oregonians to stop vaping immediately following Oregon’s second confirmed death related to vaping. In Oregon to date there have been 8 severe lung illnesses linked to vaping.
As of October 1, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports 1,080 lung injury cases and 18 deaths associated with vaping across the United States. These illnesses and deaths have been linked to vaping products that contain THC or nicotine. Out of 578 patients, 78% reported using THC products and 58% reported using nicotine products. There is no one product or chemical linked to the illnesses and deaths yet.
Young people are particularly at risk for vaping-related illnesses and deaths. The CDC reports that 37% of cases are under the age of 21 years old and over 80% of cases are under the age of 35 years old. Flavored vaping products are particularly appealing for adolescents and have been indicated as one of the drivers of the youth vaping epidemic.
In addition to Oregon’s temporary ban on flavored vaping products, the executive order directs OHA and OLCC to:
· Develop rules to increase provider reporting of severe lung illnesses related to vaping;
· Develop plans to provide consumer warnings and ingredient disclosure for vaping products;
· Reduce barriers to tobacco and nicotine cessation supports and services;
· Develop legislative proposal future protections to reduce vaping-related illnesses and deaths.
People who vape or smoke are urged to quit. These resources are available for free quit support:
For tobacco/nicotine:1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), www.quitnow.net/OregonEspañol: 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335356-92),
For youth vaping/e-cigarette:Text “DITCHJUUL” to 88709, www.thisisquitting.com
For cannabis/THC quit support: 1-800-662-HELP
Oregon is one of only 10 states that does not require a license to sell tobacco, nicotine, or non-THC vaping products (the sale of THC products requires a license through OLCC). Locally, Lincoln County is proposing an ordinance to prevent youth access to tobacco and nicotine products. In 2018, over 50% of 11th graders in Lincoln County said it would be easy to access cigarette or e-cigarettes.
Lincoln County has one of the highest smoking rates in the state. Ninety percent of long-term smokers start before the age of 18, according to the CDC. A tobacco retail license in Lincoln County would make it easier to track where tobacco and nicotine sales occur, to provide education to retailers, to ensure compliance with state and federal laws, and, ultimately, prevent more youth to becoming addicted to nicotine.
If you have any questions or concerns about Lincoln County’s proposed Tobacco Retail License, please contact Aimee Snyder at firstname.lastname@example.org.