Friday, March 6, 2015

Oregon Call to Action: Multiple bills threaten access, awareness, and availability of vapor products

(Update - 03/06/15)

Oregon Senate Bill 190 would enact an online sales ban for electronic cigarettes as well as smokeless tobacco.  Although we tend to take it for granted that vapor retail shops are easy to find and increasingly accessible, access to combustible cigarettes is still greater.  There are thousands of consumers that depend on having products delivered to their door so they can continue to live smoke-free.

SB 190 has been set for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, 3/9/15, at 8:30 A.M., 900 Court St. NE, Salem, Oregon 97301, Room HR 343. We encourage vapers and tobacco harm reduction advocates to attend the hearing.

If you are submitting written testimony:

As a sign of respect, we ask that you refrain from vaping in the building.

(Original Post)

Oregon’s legislative session begins on Monday, February 2nd, and already a handful of damaging e-cigarette related bills have been pre-filed.  This year, Oregon vapers are facing flavor bans, taxes, use bans, packaging restrictions, and the introduction of a new and exciting derogatory term (“Inhalant Delivery System”) used to define the vapor product category.  We are anticipating updating this call to action several times.

HB 2546 has been scheduled for a hearing on Monday, February 9th, 1:00 pm at the Oregon State Capitol (900 Court Street NE, Room 453, Salem, Oregon 97301).  Please plan to attend this hearing.

Although CASAA generally supports banning sales to minors, HB 2546 would include provisions that ban indoor use in public places (which includes privately-owned businesses) as well as in personal vehicles where a minor is present.  Please take action now to oppose this bill.

Other bills we are following in Oregon:

  • SB 340 (same as HB 2546)
    • Prohibits sales to minors
    • Adds use of e-cigarettes to Oregon’s Indoor Clean Air Act
    • And prohibits use of e-cigarettes in a motor vehicle where a minor is present.
    • Flavor Ban.
    • Requires vapor retailers to acquire a license from the OR Liquor Control Commission
    • Stipulates distances from schools (1000ft, no grandfather clause) as well as allocating funds collected from licensing fees to the state’s tobacco control fund.
    • Prohibits free giveaways, discounts, and coupons.
  • HB 2074 (same as HB 2134)
    • Imposes 65% wholesale tax on vapor products (including devices)
    • Would classify nicotine as a schedule III controlled substance

(Writing Tip #1) If you have a lot to say, please craft your email in a separate word doc and then copy/paste it into the field provided.  If you take too long, they system will time out and you will lose your work.

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