Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued a temporary ban on flavored vaping products, according to a news release sent Friday from the governor’s office.
The 180-day ban will block the sale of flavored vaping products, as well as other sources or additives as they are identified in cases of vaping-related lung injury or death, according to a press release.
“My first priority is to safeguard the health of all Oregonians,” Brown said in the release. “By keeping potentially unsafe products off of store shelves and out of the hands of Oregon’s children and youth, we prevent exposing more people to potentially dangerous chemical compounds, and help lessen the chance of further tragedy for any other Oregon family.”
Brown also encouraged the federal government to address vaping-related illnesses and called for the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the flavored products.
“Products that are addictive, dangerous, and targeted squarely at our youth,” she said.
Brown’s order, Executive Order 19-09, also organizes a Vaping Public Health Workgroup to examine evidence linked to the causes and effects of vaping-related lung injuries, according to the news release.
In a joint statement, the Oregon Medical Association, the Oregon Nurse Association and the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems applauded the ban.
“We strongly support the Governor’s proposed regulatory, legislative and educational actions to address the current health crisis around vaping, including an emergency ban on flavored vaping products. We have known for some time that vaping products — particularly those that are flavored — threaten to increase the number of youth addicted to nicotine. Given the increasing vaping-related illnesses and deaths over the last several months, urgent action is critical,” the statement read.
But local businesses weren’t as pleased with Friday’s announcement.
Jason Weber, the owner of Smokeless Solutions and Vape Crusaders in Roseburg, said the order was illegal and a clear overreach.
“I’m shocked, I’m upset, this makes absolutely no sense,” he said.
Weber said if the full 180-day ban plays out, businesses like his will be forced out of business.
“We’re done,” he said. “There’s not one shop owner that I know in Oregon that can hang on for 6 months. If you take away our flavors you take away 95% of our business.”
Weber said information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the FDA shows the vaping e-liquid and nicotine products aren’t causing the problems. Instead, he said, the problem rests with THC vaping cartridges.
“Yes I’m scared for my business, yes I think it’s a huge overreach, but why aren’t we actually doing something about the problem,” he said. “What should be happening is an immediate order to pull every single THC cartridge until they can test them and make sure they’re safe.”
A similar ban on flavored e-cigarettes in New York was set to start Friday before a court temporarily halted it, according to Reuters. The ban will remain up in the air until at least Oct. 18 when the state's Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case.