PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Multnomah County commissioners got an earful from dozens of people — from business owners to school kids — about what county leaders should do to curb youth vaping.
The commissioners met with health officials and looked at what other cities are doing with vaping restrictions. The options they came up with were discussed at a public hearing Tuesday:
- A total restriction on all flavored vaping and tobacco products
- A ban on just flavored vaping products
- Limiting the sale of both flavored vape and tobacco products to stores that require customers to be 21 or older
- Restrict the sale of all those products within 600 to 1000 feet of schools
At the hearing, many retailers complained a county-wide ban on flavored products would severely hurt their businesses as customers would just buy those products in a different county, out of state or online.
But they do supports tougher enforcement of a ban on sales to minors.
Others who support an across-the-board county ban on flavored e-liquid and tobacco products say it would reduce use among kids.
“I’ve tried to understand and not judge,” 11-year-old Arinze McGee said. “I’m learning that the products are flavored and designed to deceive and attract youth. Sadly these kids just think it’s too cool.”
Last month, Governor Kate Brown approved a statewide ban on the sale of flavored vape products for 6 months, but the Court of Appeals put that on hold for now. Washington state’s 4-month ban remains in effect.
Oregon has had 2 vape-related deaths and several people became severely ill from vaping-related issues, the Oregon Health Authority said.
The Multnomah County commissioners will hold another public hearing on December 3 in Gresham before they make any decisions. Comments are also accepted online.