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Oregon House passes ban on online and phone sales of vaping products

Supporters said the bill is intended to cut back on the rise in teenage use of vaping products.

Posted: Feb 11, 2020 4:18 PM
Updated: Feb 11, 2020 4:32 PM

SALEM, Ore. — A bill aimed at banning all online and telephone sales of vaping products in Oregon has passed the House of Representatives, Democrats announced on Tuesday. Supporters of the bill say that it is intended to rein in the prevalence of vaping among teens.

“In 2018, I conducted a 'There Oughta Be a Law' contest in my district,” said Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland, the chief sponsor of the bill. “I received many interesting and worthy entries, but one submitted by a group of Ashland High School students stood out. These students reported that, despite age restrictions, their peers obtain e-cigarettes by ordering them on the internet. They said we should ban internet sales. They were right.”

Lawmakers cited reports from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that demonstrate a spike in youth vaping over the past several years. OHA says that one in four 11th graders in Oregon report having used a nicotine vaping product, and overall use of e-cigarettes by youth has risen 80 percent between 2017 and 2019.

A 2019 Healthy Teens survey — also from OHA — reportedly found that 71 percent of youth who use "conventional tobacco products" started with vaping products.

In her testimony to lawmakers, Grants Pass High School student Abby Durant said "if I really wanted to get a vaping product, I could. It's not that hard."

Rep. Rachel Prusak, D-West Linn, a nurse practitioner and another sponsor of the legislation, said she is tired of seeing her patients die premature and painful deaths because of the impacts of tobacco.

“Too often, the working poor are targeted by big tobacco in their youth,” Rep. Prusak said. “Recognizing that most tobacco and nicotine users become addicted at a young age, I am very supportive of a policy specifically aimed at creating barriers to youth access and would further support recommendation that e-cigarettes be regulated and legislated in the same ways as combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products.”

The bill passed in the House with little resistance, 41 to 18. Democrats all voted in favor of the bill, while Republicans largely voted against — with a handful crossing party lines to vote in favor. House Bill 4078 now goes on to the Senate for consideration.

If passed, the policy would be enforced by the the Oregon Department of Justice’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 137600

Reported Deaths: 1877
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah29040464
Washington19216179
Marion16668247
Clackamas11989141
Lane8724113
Jackson712295
Umatilla697673
Deschutes517140
Yamhill329448
Malheur319855
Linn319449
Polk256340
Klamath252446
Josephine182636
Benton181714
Douglas175944
Jefferson173425
Union114617
Wasco111723
Columbia107518
Lincoln102717
Coos98315
Hood River97621
Morrow96310
Clatsop7075
Crook65213
Baker5825
Tillamook3692
Curry3245
Lake2485
Grant2171
Harney1806
Wallowa993
Gilliam531
Sherman470
Wheeler201
Unassigned00

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Cases: 3147735

Reported Deaths: 36846
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Los Angeles106550515184
San Bernardino2628581594
Riverside2585322777
San Diego2255582344
Orange2214932625
Santa Clara964351181
Kern89095590
Fresno847441043
Sacramento828611157
Alameda69693886
Ventura64404507
San Joaquin59395808
Contra Costa54416487
Stanislaus43938788
Tulare42759531
Monterey37285259
San Mateo33731340
San Francisco30027278
Santa Barbara26514264
Solano26494111
Imperial25562493
Merced25048324
Sonoma24761247
Kings19760160
Placer17675188
San Luis Obispo16437151
Madera13781151
Santa Cruz12687130
Marin11930163
Yolo11014138
Shasta9920129
Butte9711134
El Dorado800259
Sutter792783
Napa782847
Lassen526916
San Benito514348
Yuba504929
Tehama446846
Tuolumne344340
Nevada329674
Mendocino325635
Amador304232
Lake268132
Humboldt249425
Glenn198522
Colusa18549
Calaveras167223
Siskiyou148413
Mono11354
Inyo100729
Del Norte8732
Plumas6055
Modoc3873
Mariposa3464
Trinity3054
Sierra880
Alpine730
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