The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners announced on Sept. 24 that it is considering a ban on flavored vaping and tobacco products.
They also requested that the county Health Department formulate a proposal to ban flavored tobacco products.
“We need to stop teen vaping,” Board Chair Deborah Kafoury said in a statement. “We cannot afford to wait as the number of new nicotine addicts continues to grow.”
The announcement comes in the wake of a national outbreak of vaping-related lung illnesses. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported 530 cases nationwide that fit the illness profile. Eight people have died so far, including one Oregon resident.
“The tobacco and e-cigarette industry is constantly evolving. Our laws and support systems must also evolve to protect our community from the harm of tobacco and nicotine products, and from industry tactics designed to create new young nicotine addicts,” the board statement read.
The board also urged that a flavor ban be implemented on both the state and federal levels.

And recent data is showing that consumers are afraid.

According to New Frontier Data, Oregon’s market share of vape sales have plummeted by 62 percent during the month of September following vaping illnesses nationwide. Oregon’s plummet in vape sales is the second steepest rate out of all the states included in the study, following New Mexico.

The shift in sales shows a growing fear of the unpredictability of what is causing the illnesses.

Possible culprits include black market cartridges and thickeners containing vitamin E acetate added to some vape pens by users—but not all of the people who have fallen ill were using black market cartridges. An Oregon man who nearly died in early September told WW he never used cannabis in his Juul (only e-juice, which contains oils, nicotine and flavoring) and only bought vaping products from licensed retailers.

The CEO of the nation's dominant e-cigarette maker Juul, Kevin Burns, stepped down form the company on Sep. 25 amidst scrutiny from national authorities and the Federal Drug Administration about the safety of Juul's products and the company's marketing techniques.

The company also vowed to cease all its advertisements, which have been criticized for targeting heavily to teens.

The U.S Food and Drug Administration wrote a letter to Burns earlier this month accusing the company of marketing malpractice by downplaying the negative effects of tobacco in Juul products. It gave the company an ultimatum: account for your mistakes within 15 days of receiving the letter.

The letter also alleges that Juul is in violation of a FDA act that requires companies to vet products they want to advertise as "modified risk tobacco products" before selling them on the market. The letter claims that Juul never received an effective order from the agency allowing the sale of e-cigarettes as a modified risk tobacco product.

President Trump said earlier this month he plans on introducing a ban on all flavored vaping and e-cigarette products.

Last week in Oregon, Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson (D-Oregon) shared her plans to bring back legislation banning all flavored tobacco and vaping products. That might prove to be difficult: that legislation would include a ban on menthol, which is the flavor added to most traditional cigarettes to make the taste palatable.