Put down your vape pens, kids. Oregon Gov. Kate Brown today issued a six-month temporary ban on flavored vaping products. The move comes after the deaths of two Oregonians amid a national outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses.
In a news release, Brown left open the possibility of expanding the ban, should "other sources or additives" be more tangibly linked to vaping-related deaths.
"I want to be clear though: the safest option for Oregonians right now is to not use vaping products of any kind," Brown said. "Encourage your friends and family members to stop vaping immediately."
According to the Oregon Health Authority, 23 percent of Oregon 11th graders reported using an e-cigarette in 2019, a jump of 10 percentage points in just two years.
Members of the local vaping industry have pushed back against the ban, saying it will only drive consumers to seek out unregulated products from the black market, possibly increasing the health risks. Some vape shop owners are considering a legal challenge to the ban.
In addition to the six month ban, Brown has asked state agencies to develop plans for:
- Increased consumer warnings about the dangers of vaping.
- Mandated ingredient disclosure for vaping products
- More testing of vaping products to ensure public safety.
Vape pens could soon become a lot harder to find up and down the West Coast—last week, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee directed his state health board to ban flavored vape products, a ban that would go into effect in mid-October, after a board vote. And in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has urged all residents to quit vaping until more is known about the outbreak in related illnesses.