OREGON (KPTV) - Governor Kate Brown has issued a temporary ban on flavored vaping products to address the growing public health threat of vaping-related illnesses.
Health officials confirmed eight cases of vaping-related illnesses in Oregon. Last week, OHA announced two cases have resulted in deaths and urged Oregonians to stop vaping immediately.
Nationally, there have been more than 1,000 cases.
Gov. Brown on Friday issued Executive Order 19-09, directing agencies to enact a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, as well as other sources or additives.
The order calls for a 180-day ban.
"My first priority is to safeguard the health of all Oregonians," said Gov. Brown. "By keeping potentially unsafe products off of store shelves and out of the hands of Oregon's children and youth, we prevent exposing more people to potentially dangerous chemical compounds, and help lessen the chance of further tragedy for any other Oregon family. I want to be clear though: the safest option for Oregonians right now is to not use vaping products of any kind. Until we know more about what is causing this illness, please, do not vape. Encourage your friends and family members to stop vaping immediately. Talk to your children about the dangers of vaping. The risks are far too high."
The order also directs state agencies to develop legislative proposals for long-term solutions for consideration by the Legislature.
Marcus Nettles, owner of Rose City Vapors, told FOX 12 that a majority of his business comes from flavored e-liquid.
"I was hoping that Oregon would kind of take a bird's-eye view and take into consideration the things that are actually hurting people, which aren't the nicotine vapes, it's the illegal THC vapes that have been cut with vitamin E and other pesticides," Nettles said. "Unfortunately that didn't happen, so now we're looking at this six-month ban."
Jason Weber, owner of Smokeless Solutions by Vape Crusaders of Roseburg, said vaping is meant to be a way to help wean people off of smoking cigarettes.
"What about the smokers? I've been doing this for over five years now. We've helped tens of thousands of people get off of smoking with this and where are they going to go, is the problem," Weber said. "You know, we're either looking at sending them back to smoking or it's just going to create the biggest black market the U.S. has ever seen."
In addition to the temporary ban, the executive order calls for state agencies to develop plans within 90 days regarding:
- Consumer warnings about the dangers of vaping
- Ingredient disclosure for vaping products
- Testing of vaping products to determine product safety
- Improving health care provider reporting of vaping-related lung injuries to OHA
- Increasing access to FDA-approved cessation services and methods
- Establishing a statewide prevention and education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping products
Gov. Brown's order puts Oregon among several other states that have imposed temporary bans, including Washington, New York, Michigan and Rhode Island.
The Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Liquor Control Commission need to go through a rule-making process before the order is implemented.
Schools can find resources on vaping at lung.org.
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