OPINION: Governor Brown’s Ban on Flavored E-Cigs Good for Oregon Teens

By: Rebecca Tiel, MPH

Let’s stop pretending: flavored e-cigarettes aren’t made to taste like candy to help adults stop using traditional cigarettes. Vape pods taste like candy to turn a new, young demographic into future tobacco users. Flavored tobacco appeals to youth by coming in flavors like cotton candy, gummy bear or vanilla latte. The tobacco industry has run rampant marketing these products, to the severe detriment of young Oregonians.

The proliferation of e-cigarette use among Oregon teens has led to an unprecedented epidemic in our state. Nearly one in four 11th-graders in Oregon reported vaping e-cigarettes this year. That number is staggering! Additionally, a 2018 National Academy of Medicine study found evidence that vaping may lead to a higher rate of smoking traditional cigarettes later. With two vaping-related deaths in Oregon and more than 1,000 cases of lung illness nationally, Governor Brown was right to take action to address this health crisis.

Governor Brown’s executive order temporarily bans the sale of flavored e-cigarette products for 180 days and calls for the following actions by state agencies within the next 90 days:

  • Consumer warnings about the dangers of vaping

  • Ingredient disclosure for vaping products

  • Testing of vaping products to determine product safety

  • Improving health care provider reporting of vaping-related lung injuries to OHA

  • Increasing access to FDA-approved cessation services and methods

  • Establishing a statewide prevention and education campaign aimed at discouraging the use of vaping products

In short, this executive order is the beginning of an important fight for Oregon’s youth, who deserve better than to be preyed on as future subjects of Big Tobacco.

Rebecca Tiel, MPH

About the Author

Rebecca Tiel is the Director of Public Policy for the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems. She also chairs the Oregon Health Authority Public Health Advisory Board.

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