October 4, 2019
Charles Boyle, 503-931-7773
Governor Brown Issues Temporary Ban on Flavored Vaping Products, Convenes Vaping Public Health Workgroup
(Salem, OR) — Today, to address the growing public health threat of the vaping-related illness that has resulted in two deaths in Oregon and over a thousand cases of lung injury nationwide, Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 19-09, directing state agencies to enact a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products, as well as other sources or additives as they are identified in cases of vaping-related lung injury or death.
“My first priority is to safeguard the health of all Oregonians,” said Governor 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.” E-cigarettes are the most popular tobacco products used by Oregon’s youth, with 23 percent of Oregon 11th graders reporting using an e-cigarette in 2019, up from 13 percent in 2017.
Governor Brown also called on the federal government to act to address vaping-related illness. “This order will help protect Oregon households in the short term, but federal action is long overdue to address this national public health crisis,” said Gov. Brown. “It’s time for the FDA to regulate flavored vaping products and other additives for what they are: products that are addictive, dangerous, and targeted squarely at our youth.”
The best-available evidence from state and federal public health experts indicates that certain ingredients and compounds contained in flavored vaping products and additives have been found in cases of vaping-related lung injury and death.
The order calls for a 180-day ban on all flavored vaping products under the emergency rulemaking authority of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). The order also directs state agencies to develop legislative proposals for long-term solutions for consideration by the Legislature.
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
Executive Order 19-09 also convenes a Vaping Public Health Workgroup to advise the Governor and state agencies, examine the evidence about the causes and effects of vaping-related lung injuries, and collect stakeholder feedback and input about the vaping public health crisis. Read more information about the Vaping Public Health Workgroup.
The workgroup’s membership will consist of public health experts, including health professionals in epidemiology, pulmonology, emergency medicine, and pediatrics; Oregon’s State Public Health Officer and Epidemiologist; representatives from the Governor’s office, the Oregon Legislature, OHA, the Department of Justice, the Department of Agriculture, and OLCC; as well as members from law enforcement, the Association of Oregon Counties, and public stakeholders, including from the cannabis industry and the vaping business community. As more information about the causes of vaping-related injury and death emerges, the workgroup will make policy recommendations for lawmakers to consider and implement.
For further background, see Governor Brown’s September 26 statement on vaping-related lung injuries and fatalities and the full text of OHA’s public health warning about vaping products.
Kind Leaf Pendleton made national news recently for being the first dispensary in the nation to take action amidst the news of spreading Vape related illnesses and deaths. Kind Leaf removed all vaping products that contained any non-cannabis additives or agents.
‘Erin Purchase, director of operations for the dispensary Kind Leaf Pendleton, says she pulled 15 vape cartridge brands off her shelves because she doesn’t know what’s in them. She says stores only receive a blanket label reading “natural and artificial flavors.’
‘The retailer does not even have access to the ‘proprietary’ ingredients or the methods behind the extraction done by the processor,’ Purchase says.”