Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum today applauded the Oregon legislature for passing legislation that will close a loophole that allows underage Oregonians to purchase vaping products over the internet. Under legislation introduced by the Attorney General’s Office, HB 2261, all nicotine vaping devices and components will no longer be able to be sold online.
The bill had previously passed out of the Oregon House with near-unanimous approval, and today passed out of the Oregon Senate. It now moves to the Governor’s desk for signature.
“There is no effective way to verify an age or stop minors from purchasing these products over the internet. In Oregon, you cannot buy cigarettes online, and there is no good reason to be able to buy vape products online either, ” said Attorney General Rosenblum. “Despite steep declines in the rate of underage cigarette smoking, increasing e-cigarette use among teenagers is threatening years of public health progress. If we want to make real progress in lowering rates of teenage vaping, we need to close this online sales loophole.”
E-cigarette use is a significant – and avoidable – health risk to young Oregonians. In 2019, 1 in 4 high school students and 1 in 10 middle schools students in the United States reported that they had vaped with an electronic cigarette in the past 30 days.
Among other ingredients, the vapor in these products includes heavy metals, cancer-causing chemicals, volatile organic compounds, flavoring linked to serious health disease and nicotine – which is especially toxic for adolescents with developing brains. E-cigarettes are marketed in kid-friendly flavors and models that come in shapes and sizes that look like USB flash drives.
Last year, Attorney General Rosenblum announced that Oregon was leading a 39-state investigation involving marketing and sales tactics of Juul Labs, which sells nicotine pods for vaping devices. The multi-state investigation is ongoing.
“I want to thank Representative Pam Marsh and Senator KathleenTaylor for championing this bill and seeing it through to the finish line. It has become increasingly clear that way too many Oregon kids are getting hooked on e-cigarettes and other devices like vape pens. By eliminating the sale of these products online, we are making one major step forward,” continued Attorney General Rosenblum.