SALEM, Ore. (AP) — State health officials have told Gov. Kate Brown that banning vape sales for half a year could help stem the vaping-related illness crisis that has killed two Oregonians and sickened at least two others.
The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the “moratorium” would bar sales of nicotine, tobacco and cannabis vape products, both in brick-and-mortar stores and online.
The proposal was one of six the Oregon Health Authority submitted to Brown Friday after she demanded a list of ideas from the agency Thursday.
The agency said that officials could also make it easier to get help quitting nicotine and launching an education campaign aimed at getting people to not vape.
The agency also proposed asking the federal government to regulate vaping products, asking doctors to keep reporting potential cases and getting experts together to come up with more ideas.
News release from Oregon Health Authority:
OHA provides options on vaping to Governor Kate Brown
Six-month ban among policy options to be considered
PORTLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has submitted a set of policy options to Gov. Kate Brown to prevent deaths and injuries linked to vaping, as state and federal investigators seek to identify the cause of recent cases.
These options would require review, coordination and implementation assistance from the Oregon Department of Justice and other state agencies.
The options include:
Implement a six-month temporary moratorium on sale and display of all vaping products, including tobacco, nicotine, and cannabis, while the federal investigation is underway and Oregon’s evaluation of the ban is conducted. This moratorium should include online sales in Oregon. These options are provided independent of and without consideration of legal authority or approval.
Increase access to FDA-approved tobacco-cessation methods (including nicotine-replacement therapy) and substance use disorder prevention services through:
Enhanced access to nicotine-replacement therapy in pharmacies, including easier reimbursement regardless of insurance coverage.
Increased access to training and billing reference materials for health care providers and pharmacists to improve their ability to counsel and support patients in their quit attempts and receive reimbursement.
Providing eight weeks of free nicotine-replacement therapy, without barriers, to all individuals who access the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line.
Facilitating access to cessation services in the community where individuals are already accessing services, including in school-based health centers.
Implement a statewide prevention campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping and combustible products with a link to cessation services through:
Retail establishment signs and messaging to reinforce the risks of vaping.
Online communications, including through social media.
A multimedia campaign.
Request that the Food and Drug Administration regulate vaping products and establish a moratorium on internet sales of tobacco and a moratorium on advertising of vaping products.
Continue to encourage all health care providers to report cases of vaping-associated acute lung injury to OHA so the agency has more complete data and understanding of the health impact of vaping.
Convene a workgroup of health experts and agency leads to provide further recommendations on short- and long-term policies and strategies as evidence and information continues to emerge on this evolving crisis.
If you or someone you know is ready to quit smoking or vaping, free help is available from the following resources:
Those who want help quitting cannabis or other substance use can call 1-800-662-HELP.
Switching to cigarettes or other combustible products is not a safer option.
KTVZ and AP 2019