Governor Brown signs order to ban flavored vaping products for six months

Oregon Governor Kate Brown, on Oct. 4, issued an executive order putting a 180-day ban on flavored vaping products. 

The Centers for Disease Control released a report stating there have been over 1,000 probable vape-related lung injuries nationwide. In addition, 26 deaths have been confirmed in 21 states two of which were in Oregon. 

While all the cases were associated with a history of e-cigarette or vape use, Brown’s decision was primarily made to prevent underage youth from vaping. Though laws prevent minors under the age of 21 from purchasing any of these vape products, Brown calls out “flavored nicotine vaping products and advertisements for those products” as the main contributor to the rise of youth vaping. “For example, among 11th graders in Oregon, use of e-cigarette products increased from 13 percent to 23 percent from 2017 to 2019,” according to the CDC. 

Currently, the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are not entirely sure what causes these lung-related illnesses. The CDC has stated that the only commonality in the 1,299 cases nationwide is that the patients reported they had, or currently used e-cigarettes or other vaping products. 

The executive order does not just target nicotine products but also cannabis vaping cartridges. In particular, THC cartridges obtained on the black market are linked to the outbreak, therefore it is not recommended to use nicotine or THC vaping products until more research has been done to identify the source of the problem. 

What is currently unknown is the substance causing the ailments. Moreso, there is a possibility that multiple causes are to blame. In order to find the responsible substance, the CDC is currently investigating the sources of these products.

It is recommended to see a physician if experiencing any of these symptoms linked to these products: cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, or weight loss.

Some patients reported their symptoms as developing over a few days while others said it progressively grew worse over a couple of weeks. 

A part of Brown’s executive order is to immediately ban chemicals and associated products when they are discovered to be the cause. She has also ordered that there be a warning label expressing the associated dangers to be placed on all vaping products along with an ingredient disclosure.

Another part of the order is to have the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon Health Authority start a statewide vaping prevention campaign. Its focus will be to discourage consumers, especially the youth, from vaping products.