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Oregon Court of Appeals blocks Multnomah County Jan. 1 ban on flavored tobacco products


PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW/KTVZ) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has temporary halted Multnomah County's ban on flavored tobacco products, which was set to take effect on Jan. 1, KGW reported

The court issued a stay on Friday morning that pauses enforcement of the ban, pending ongoing litigation. In the court's order, it cited concerns from tobacco and vaping interests that the ban would force businesses to permanently close if the court did not step in. 

If the ban would have gone into effect, Multnomah County would have become the first county in Oregon to ban flavored tobacco. 

On Thursday, KGW spoke to vape and tobacco shop owners around the Portland area. Sheila LaPlante, manager for Vape Lounge at Tobacco Land on Northeast Sandy Boulevard in Portland, said it was clear to her what would happen if Multnomah County's flavored tobacco ban was to go into effect. 

"All businesses would basically have to close up and all the employees would lose their jobs, while all the customers go to Clackamas County [or the state of Washington] and give them all their business," LaPlante said.

LaPlante said 98% of her business is flavored tobacco or vaping products. She would have been forced to close and lay off seven staff members.

A motion filed on Dec. 20 by tobacco and vaping interests asked the Oregon Court of Appeals for an emergency stay on the order before the new year.

It stated the ban would  "permanently and irreparably harm" vape stores and similar parties, leading to the "evisceration of their businesses, termination of employees, breach of leases, and substantial lost income."

County health officials said the ban would address preventable deaths and health issues, pointing to studies that show young people use flavored products as a gateway to nicotine addiction.

"This ordinance is another step toward protecting young people from the harms of tobacco and nicotine," said Kari McFarlan, Tobacco Control and Prevention Program Supervisor.

In 2022, a judge ruled against a similar flavored tobacco ban in Washington County.


Statement by Flavors Hook Oregon Kids on Multnomah County Flavored Tobacco Ban

Court of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay on Law Set to Take Effect January 1

Portland, OR - Flavors Hook Oregon Kids, a statewide coalition of more than 60 diverse organizations focused on protecting the health of Oregon kids by ending the sale of flavored tobacco products, issued the following statement regarding temporary stay issued by the Oregon Court of Appeals on the implementation of a ban on the sale of flavored tobacco in Multnomah County slated to go into effect Jan. 1.

“Big Tobacco targets Oregon kids with tobacco products flavored like cotton candy, watermelon, and cool mint. Their goal is to attract and hook new young users on nicotine and tobacco. That’s why communities around Oregon are standing up for kids and against these dangerous products. We look forward to prompt action by the Court; each day of delay leads to more kids being hooked on nicotine."

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