Rep. Cheri Helt, R-Bend, said Thursday she will introduce legislation during the February legislative session to ban retail and online sales of all flavored e-cigarettes and vaping products.
In addition, Helt said she is asking Gov. Kate Brown to immediately issue a temporary ban on the sale of all vaping products, to allow public health experts time to better understand the causes of life-threatening, vaping-related illnesses occurring in Oregon and across the nation.
” Vaping is now a public health crisis, especially among teenagers, ” Helt said. ” Oregon needs an immediate pause in sales and stronger, longer=term regulation of all vaping related products to save lives, prevent addiction and protect public health. This crisis knows no partisan, geographic or economic boundaries, and our leadership and response should be no different. ”
In July, Oregon experienced its first death related to vaping. In recent days, as a part of a national movement to address increasing illnesses and deaths related to vaping products, several states have taken legislative and executive actions to limit the retail and on-line sales of vaping related products.
“Oregonians should not be a laboratory for the vaping industry to determine the dangers of these products,” Helt said. “We need to learn more and have stronger legal protections, to protect the lives and health of Oregonians.”
Helt said she plans to form a bipartisan coalition of legislators and to work with the Oregon Health Authority and public health organizations to craft the legislation for the February legislative session.