Bill heading to Senate, prompted by rise in youth vaping
SALEM, Ore. (KTVZ) -- A ban on online and telephone sales of vaping delivery products passed the Oregon House Tuesday, aimed at curbing the recent rise of youth vaping.
“In 2018, I conducted a “There Oughta Be a Law” contest in my district,” said Rep. Pam Marsh (D-Ashland), chief sponsor of the legislation. “I received many interesting and worthy entries, but one submitted by a group of Ashland High School students stood out. These students reported that, despite age restrictions, their peers obtain e-cigarettes by ordering them on the internet. They said we should ban internet sales. They were right.”
Reports from the Oregon Health Authority and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have shown the dramatic rise in youth vaping in recent years. Data shows one in four Oregon 11th graders reported vaping a nicotine product with youth use of e-cigarettes increasing 80 percent between 2017 and 2019. According to the 2019 Healthy Teens Survey, 71 percent of youth who currently use conventional tobacco products started with vape products.
Rep. Rachel Prusak (D-West Linn), a nurse practitioner and a sponsor of the legislation, said she is tired of seeing her patients die premature and painful deaths because of the impacts of tobacco.
“Too often, the working poor are targeted by big tobacco in their youth,” Prusak said. “Recognizing that most tobacco and nicotine users become addicted at a young age, I am very supportive of a policy specifically aimed at creating barriers to youth access and would further support recommendation that e-cigarettes be regulated and legislated in the same ways as combustible cigarettes and other tobacco products.”
The policy would be enforced by the Oregon Department of Justice’s Tobacco Enforcement Unit within its existing authority.
Joining Marsh as a chief sponsor of the legislation are Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland), Sen. Kathleen Taylor (D-Milwaukie), and Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Gresham).
Other sponsors included Rep. Teresa Alonso Leon (D-Woodburn), Rep. Brian Clem (D-Salem), Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer (D-Portland), Rep. John Lively (D-Springfield), Rep. Mark Meek (D-Oregon City), Rep. Tiffiny Mitchell (D-Astoria), Rep. Karin Power (D-Milwaukie), Rep. Prusak, Rep. Jeff Reardon (D-Happy Valley), Rep. Andrea Salinas (D-Lake Oswego), Rep. Tawna Sanchez (D-Portland), Rep. Sheri Schouten (D-Beaverton), Rep. Marty Wilde (D-Eugene), and Rep. Anna Williams (D-Hood River).
House Bill 4078 passed 41-18. It now goes to the Oregon Senate for consideration.