Washington County poised to ban flavored tobacco, vape sales – Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon 2021-10-21 23:07:27 –

Portland, OregonPortland Tribune) — The Washington County Commission revised the proposed ordinance on Tuesday, October 19, including an amendment banning the sale of flavored tobacco and flavored vaporizing products throughout the county.

As originally proposed, Ordinance 878 bans the sale of flavored tobacco and synthetic nicotine products, and the devices used to consume them, in retail stores where people under the age of 21 are allowed. rice field. The ordinance would also have prohibited retailers from discounting or using promotional prices for such products.

so Previous hearing In the September 21 Ordinance, Commissioner Nafisafi proposed an amendment to extend the ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vapor-breathing products to include all retailers.

Phi later withdrew the proposed amendment after receiving pushbacks from commissioners Jerry Willy and Roy Rogers.

When the commissioners met on Tuesday, the amendments were brought up for consideration again, a vote to adopt them was passed 3-2 on Tuesday, and Willey and Rogers voted “no.”

The Board also resolved to hold a fourth reading and a third hearing on the ordinance at a meeting on November 2, when the Board was able to vote to adopt the ban. Willie and Rogers also voted “no” for the next reading and hearing of the Ordinance.

The vote on Tuesday followed a hearing that included nearly two hours of testimony from more than 40 people.

Board chair Catherine Harrington said the commissioner also received more than 150 written comments on the ordinance from the general public during the last week.

Proponents of the ordinance (including parents, public health authorities, smoking cessation and representatives of e-cigarette groups) said the ordinance is harmful to local youth as teenage e-cigarettes explode across the country. It states that it is an important tool to prevent the use of tobacco and e-cigarette products.

At a previous meeting, the Board of Directors mentioned a study showing that teenage use of such tobacco and vapor-breathing products would be reduced where such restrictions were enforced by county public health authorities. I heard the report from.

They are a public health disproportionate to these groups because the marketing practices of tobacco and electronic tobacco product companies, and the flavor products themselves are designed to appeal to young people, low-income earners, and people of color. He said he was influential.

During last week’s work session, commissioners were provided with data showing that 9% of 8th graders and 18% of 11th graders in Washington County use e-cigarettes. The data came from a 2019 survey of teens by the Oregon Department of Health.

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Opponents of the ordinance, which surpassed supporters at the hearing, included convenience store owners, retailers, and representatives of industry associations.

The shopkeeper said the ordinance would dramatically reduce their income as they still feel the economic impact of the pandemic. Some say that staff needs to be reduced or completely closed.

They said the ordinance was ineffective in reducing the use of cigarettes and e-cigarettes among teenagers who might travel to other counties or try to buy products online. He claimed to put Washington County retailers at a competitive disadvantage in the region.

They added that the ban would make it more difficult for people who use vaping products as smoking cessation tools to access the products.

Retailers who sell exclusively to people over the age of 21, including smoke shop owners, also opposed Phi’s proposal at a meeting on Tuesday.

Prior to voting to adopt the amendment, Mr. Phi said he was elected last year to protect the community and that the amendment ordinance would do so.

“This really helps to relocate Washington County to a bold committee (together) as a bold committee that really changes the trajectory of Oregon, empowering others to follow our proceedings. Let’s do it, “said Phi. “This is a difficult decision, but we ultimately protect our community and our youth.”

She also said she hopes the county’s economic development authorities will work with affected companies to pivot their business plans in accordance with the ordinance.

Commissioner Pam Trees praised his colleagues for doing due diligence to assess the position of all stakeholders on the ordinance and added that he visited several convenience stores to discuss potential impacts. rice field.

“I’m a grandmother with four grandchildren under the age of 12. Frankly, the number of children using tobacco products in our county shocked me,” Treece said. rice field.

Rogers opposes the use of tobacco, but believes the ordinance will not reduce the use of tobacco and e-cigarettes by teens and make their impact on businesses worthless. Stated.

He expressed support for similar state-wide legislation, but said it was sad that legislators did not promise to pursue such legislation.

Having spoken longer than other commissioners, Willie accused his colleagues of being ready to enact the ordinance. This has extreme and unnecessary impact on the business, he said.

He specifically called on Treece to attend the meeting, deciding how she would vote, rather than discussing alternatives that could reduce the use of young people’s cigarettes and e-cigarettes.

“We should be able to find something that works for everyone,” Willie said. “This is a bad idea. The ban is not going to achieve what I think Phi started. I don’t think she can achieve what her focus was and we as a county want. There is certainly no focus on being. “

In her comments, Harrington was grateful for the support of county officials, the testimony of community members, and Phi’s question to the board.

“By completely banning flavors, we can eliminate advertising and marketing for these products,” says Harrington. “This not only helps discourage access and initiation of young people, but also denormalizes the use of tobacco in our community.”

Washington County poised to ban flavored tobacco, vape sales Source link Washington County poised to ban flavored tobacco, vape sales

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