PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - Oregon is expected to follow suit as a temporary ban on flavored vaping products begins in Washington state.
Health officials will announce details Friday about what they plan to ban in Oregon and for how long.
The ban in Washington started Thursday after the Washington State Board of Health voted Wednesday afternoon to temporarily ban flavored e-liquids for 120 days. The health board said it issued the ruling as a response to what it calls a “youth vaping epidemic and the outbreak of vaping-associated lung injury.”
Ahead of the ban in Oregon, a Hillsboro shop said it is already hurting, and may have to close its doors. Christopher Ferreira at Oregon Vape Shoppe said sales at his shop have taken a sharp dive.
“We’ve seen a 71 percent loss in our customer base,” Ferreira said.
Ferreira said many of his customers are returning to smoking following national reports of illnesses and death linked to vaping products. He said this is frustrating, as he stands by the nicotine products he sells.
“I don’t want to close and I’m a fighter and I’ll be here until the end, but if it goes down like it’s written, and we’re not allowed to sell flavors, I won’t be here, my competition won’t be here, nobody will be here,” Ferreira said.
According to the CDC, the latest findings suggest that vaping THC plays a role in the outbreak.
Friday, the Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will unveil plans to implement Gov. Kate Brown’s executive order for a temporary ban on flavored liquid e-products. Ferreira said best case scenario, businesses will have a seat at the table during discussions of where the industry goes from here.
“I do like some of the language that is in the executive order that talks about a work group that involves industry players,” Ferreira said.
In the meantime, Oregon Vape Shoppe will try to squeak by selling other products; however, Ferreira expects hard times ahead, as he says 90 percent of his business is about to be banned.
“Once the numbers go beyond the bottom line, I can’t keep my doors open anymore, I can’t play the bills,” Ferreira said.
Oregon Vape Shoppe says it has recently seen a small boost in business from customers looking to stock up ahead of the ban, and also from Washington state customers now crossing over to Oregon to get their products.
In Washington, Gov. Inslee says he will ask the legislature to permanently ban the flavored liquids in the future.
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