PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Multnomah County Board on Thursday approved the first reading of an ordinance aimed at curbing the use of flavored tobacco and nicotine products.

If passed, the ordinance would prohibit the sale of fruity and mint-flavored nicotine, which is commonly used by teenagers and young adults. 

“This is an area in which we can make a difference — a life-saving difference — through public policy,” said County Chair Deborah Kafoury.

Over the last several years, Kafoury says there has been an “explosion” of children smoking which has led parents, schools and public health officials to grow concerned. 

Multnomah County is reportedly one of 345 communities nationwide attempting to minimize minors’ risk and use of tobacco products. Similar bans have been enacted across the country, with California enforcing a ban statewide.

During the board meeting, Commissioner Lori Stegmann proposed an exemption for hookahs, a smoking device commonly used in the Middle East and North Africa. That exemption was ultimately rejected.

The final vote on the ordinance is set for Thursday. The ordinance would not go into effect until January 2024, however.