Senate Wants Tobacco Licensing While House Goes for E-Cig Tax

Some tobacco vendors, including the Northwest Grocery Association, have pledged support for statewide licensing to avoid a patchwork of local ordinances, but licensing advocates are insisting on local control. Meanwhile, the House is debating a 50 percent retail tax on e-cigarettes and supplies.

Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, appear determined to push through a state law requiring a license to sell tobacco and e-cigarettes to the public, but they face opposition from unlikely quarters.

Steiner Hayward Renews Efforts to License Tobacco Vendors, Curtail Sales to Minors

A resurrected policy would put tobacco sales under the same scrutiny as alcohol and marijuana and give the OLCC the authority to police licensees. Current law against sales to minors applies only to clerks, not businesses, and as many as one-fifth of tobacco shops regularly sell to underage teens.

Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Beaverton, is working overtime to get the football past the goal line for one of her top public health goals -- reining in Oregon’s high rate of tobacco sales to minors.

Tobacco Lobby Wins Last-Minute Delay on Bill Banning Flavored Products

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The Senate Health Committee stripped a ban on flavored e-cigarettes from Senate Bill 415, and an 11th hour appeal from tobacco lobbyists about the potential loss of revenue from a ban on candy-flavored snuff and little cigars compelled the committee to move the bill to the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee for further analysis.

Lobbyists from the tobacco industry managed to gum up the passage of a bill that would ban Oregon sales of their flavored tobacco products, many of which have been shown to be appetizing to teenagers, perhaps deliberately.

Ban on Flavored E-Cigarettes and Flavored Tobacco Could Shut Down Shops

Public health advocates on the Senate Health Committee want to protect children with a ban on candy-flavored tobacco that’s clearly targeted to minors, but their bill also seeks to ban flavored e-cigarettes, which are far and away the most popular type for adults, who say the devices help them quit smoking tobacco.

The Senate Health Committee could be poised to pass a bill that could shut down the e-cigarette vaping shops that have puffed up on the Oregon landscape and offer a product that’s built on nicotine addiction but which could be less harmful than older sources of nicotine, like tobacco cigarettes.

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.

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