Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Wednesday applauded the Oregon Legislature for passing legislation that will close a loophole that allows Oregon minors to purchase vaping products on the internet. Under the bill passed Wednesday, HB 2261, all nicotine vaping devices and components will no longer be able to be sold online.
The bill had already been passed by the Oregon House with almost unanimous approval, and last Wednesday by the Oregon Senate. It now goes to the governor’s office for signature.
“There is no effective way to verify an age or prevent minors from purchasing these products on the Internet. In Oregon, you can’t buy cigarettes online, nor is there a good reason to be able to buy vaping products online, either, ”Attorney General Rosenblum said. “Despite a sharp drop in underage smoking rates, the increasing consumption of electronic cigarettes among adolescents threatens years of progress in public health. If we are to make real progress in reducing teen vaping rates, we need to close this gap in online sales. “
Electronic cigarette use is a significant – and preventable – risk to the health of Oregon’s youth. In 2019, 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 10 high school students in the United States reported vaping with an e-cigarette in the past 30 days.
Among other ingredients, the vapor of these products includes heavy metals, carcinogenic chemicals, volatile organic compounds, flavors related to serious illnesses and nicotine – which is particularly toxic to adolescents with developing brains. Electronic cigarettes come in kid-friendly flavors and designs that come in shapes and sizes that resemble USB drives.
Last year, Rosenblum announced that Oregon was conducting a 39-state investigation involving marketing and sales tactics from Juul Labs, which sells nicotine pods for vaping devices. The multi-state investigation is ongoing.
“I want to thank Rep. Pam Marsh and Senator KathleenTaylor for defending this bill and bringing it to the finish line. It has become increasingly clear that too many children in Oregon are getting addicted to e-cigarettes and other devices like vape pens. By eliminating the sale of these products online, we are taking a big step forward, ”said Rosenblum.