Oregon House Votes to Protect Kids from E-Cigarette Harm

HB 2546 will ban sales of e-cigarettes to minors

Currently, Oregon is one of only nine states that allow minors to purchase electronic cigarettes and there are currently no restrictions on where electronic cigarettes can be used. That will change under House Bill 2546, which was approved by the Oregon House of Representatives this morning.

HB 2546 will ban the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, and will apply the Indoor Clean Air Act to ecigarette use.

E-cigarettes are marketed in ways that make them especially attractive to minors. The e-cigarette “juice” is sold in more than 8,000 flavors, including grape, chocolate, birthday cake, banana split, and graham cracker.

“Children are using e-cigs at an alarmingly increasing rate,” said Rep. Kathleen Taylor (DMilwaukie, Oak Grove, Southeast Portland), who championed the bill in the House. “We need to eliminate youth access to e-cigarettes and protect our indoor air from the toxins emitted from these unregulated devices.”

The use of electronic cigarettes in workplaces and public places is a public health concern— studies have found a 20% degradation of indoor air quality during use of electronic cigarettes.

“I support e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative to traditional cigarettes. Functional and workable regulation as well as meeting the same location standards as regular cigarettes only makes sense,” said Rep. Bill Kennemer (R-Oregon City). “Supporters for these new rules include the medical community, local governments, law enforcement and children’s advocates. This legislation is about protecting our kids and living healthier.”

Additionally, HB 2546 would:

• Require electronic cigarettes and their components to be sold in child-resistant safety packaging.

• Prohibit the use of cannabinoids and other substances in electronic cigarettes in public places and places of employment.

• Ask the legislature to review this law in 2019 to ensure Oregon continues to take emerging science, labeling, and national packaging standards into consideration.

HB 2546 passed the House by a vote of 56-2 and heads to the Senate for consideration. 

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