PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Oregon’s Court of Appeals has put a halt to the state’s ban on flavored vaping products two days after it took effect.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the temporary state issued Thursday appears to apply only to tobacco-based vaping products, sold under the oversight of the Oregon Health Authority. It leaves the ban in place on marijuana vaping products regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission.
On Oct.4, Gov. Kate Brown ordered a six-month ban on flavored vape products in Oregon in response to an epidemic of vaping-related illnesses across the country. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there have been nearly 1,500 illnesses and 33 deaths nationwide. Oregon has reported nine illnesses and two deaths.
Reaction to the Oregon Court of Appeals stay was swift. The Oregon Department of Justice said, “We are reviewing the stay and determining our next steps.
Gov. Kate Brown’s Press Secretary Charles Boyle issued this statement:
In light of the nearly 1,500 reported cases of vaping-related lung injuries nationwide that have resulted in 33 deaths to date, including two in Oregon, a temporary ban under the state’s emergency rulemaking process is the best path forward available to Governor Brown and state agencies under Oregon law to protect the public health of Oregonians.
The court’s decision to enter a temporary stay today is unfortunate due to the ongoing public health threat posed by vaping-related illness. In the meantime, in the absence of action from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to adequately regulate vaping products, Governor Brown will continue to work with the Vaping Public Health Workgroup, state agencies, stakeholders, and the Legislature to find long-term solutions that will protect the public health from vaping-related illness. Governor Brown continues to urge Oregonians to heed the public health warning of the Oregon Health Authority and to stop vaping immediately.
OHA statement on stay of rules banning flavored vaping product sales
The Oregon Health Authority has been informed that the Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay of OHA’s rules that ban the sale of flavored vaping products at retail stores. This decision means the rules are, for now, not in effect; the agency is communicating with its partners, including local public health authorities and other state agencies, that enforcement of the rules will be temporarily suspended.
The stay does not affect flavored cannabis vaping products sold at Oregon Medical Marijuana Program dispensaries.
Governor Brown’s executive order to enact a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products is an evidence-based strategy to prevent youth, as well as adults attracted to flavors, from becoming exposed to the health risks from vaping products and from becoming addicted to nicotine. The recommendations from the Governor and the resulting rules from OHA and OLCC are intended to help our agencies protect the health of all Oregonians. OHA continues to investigate vaping-associated lung injuries, and continues to urge all Oregonians who use vaping products to stop vaping immediately and take advantage of cessation resources. In addition, OHA encourages businesses, despite the stay, to voluntarily keep flavored vaping products off the shelves to protect Oregonians.
OHA will continue its work on a statewide prevention and education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping products, and on legislative proposals to permanently ban all flavored vaping products, require the disclosure of all ingredients in vaping products, increase the regulatory oversight of vaping products, and clarify and expand OHA’s authority to take action when there is a public health risk from these products.
The DOJ’s appellate division will be defending the rules and responding to the request for a stay.
KOIN 6 News contributed to this report.