Multnomah County considers banning sale of flavored nicotine products

The proposal is already getting push back from people in the tobacco industry.
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 6:59 AM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

MULTNOMAH COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Multnomah County is considering banning the sale of flavored tobacco and nicotine products, but the proposal is already getting push back from people in the tobacco industry.

Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury created an online form for anyone to comment on what flavored products should be included in the ban. Those suggestions will be heard come September, along with recommendations from the county health department.

At a recent briefing, Kafoury acknowledged the difficulty in reducing the use of nicotine products, but with cancer and heart disease as the leading causes of death in Multnomah County, Kafoury says she is ready to say enough is enough.

Washington County banned the sale of flavored vape products last year. It was the first county in Oregon to do so. However, a judge temporarily blocked it from taking effect just last month.

At last week’s Multnomah County Board meeting, one man who works for a tobacco wholesale distributor argued that banning the sale of flavored nicotine products there didn’t necessarily stop people from using them.

“It really put a hardship on all the taxpaying business owners within that county, and the people that stopped using tobacco, they just went elsewhere, they came across the county border,” the man said during the meeting.

Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines told the Board of Commissioners that tobacco and COVID-19 have “serious interplay.” Vines says smokers who were hospitalized with COVID-19 were linked to higher risks of complications and death.

The county health department is expected to give recommendations on how to move forward with the ban come September. Anyone who would like to weigh in on the possible ban can do so here.