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OREGON – Multnomah County Flavor Ban – Comments Needed!
12/01/22 – First reading unanimously approved. Second reading and likely final vote expected on Thursday, 12/15/22.
11/02/22 – Acording to The Oregonian, Multnomah County Commissioners will hold a public hearing on a proposed flavor ban on Monday, November 28.
08/16/22 – Department of Health delivers a presentation to the County Board of Commissioners on youth use of tobacco and nicotine products. County Board directs the Health Department to return with recommendations in September.
The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners is asking for public input on a potential ban on sales of flavored tobacco and nicotine products. County residents can share their views by filling out a Google Form survey set up by the Board of Health.
- A second reading and vote is expected on Thursday, December 15.
- Urge county commissioners to resist proposals to ban flavored smoke-free products, which would restrict your ability to use low-risk alternatives to smoking and send people back to smoking or to buy their vapor products from informal sources.
- Briefly, share your story about switching to vaping and what role that flavors play in helping you live smoke free.
- Note any health changes you’ve experienced.
- Briefly, discuss what losing legal access to a local supply of vapor products will mean for you (Will you shop out-of-state, in neighboring cities, or online? Will you make your own e-liquid at home or purchase products on an underground market?).
- Be brief, Be kind, and Say Thank You 🙂
For those new to vaping or just generally unfamiliar with federal regulations, the premarket tobacco application (or PMTA) deadline was September 9, 2020. This application is required to keep or bring new tobacco/nicotine products on the market. To date, FDA has denied 98-99% of applications it received.
But 98% is not 100% (as anti-harm reduction activists are fond of saying).
The FDA has already approved some new tobacco products that are being sold in flavors other than tobacco (specifically mint, menthol, and wintergreen). In the weeks prior to the September deadline, the FDA accepted for review several applications for bottled e-liquid in flavors ranging from tobacco to cereal to fruit. Despite the rhetoric from certain members of congress and the incessant pro-drug war drum beat of tobacco prohibitionists, FDA is still capable of authorizing flavored smoke-free nicotine products for market. Moreover, FDA may even allow manufactures of these products to market them as safer than cigarettes, if they apply for and receive a modified risk order.
A flavor ban in Multnomah County would undermine any decision by FDA to allow low-risk flavored tobacco products on the market after having met the “appropriate for the protection of public health” standard. Even without involving the FDA, flavor bans are being enacted without thorough consideration of the negative consequences. Sales data from Massachusetts and New York suggest that many people who were vaping prior to the flavor bans simply returned to smoking.
While a flavor ban may amount to an inconvenience for teens experimenting with substance use, it is actively harming parents and other adults who are trying to quit smoking.