PORTLAND, Ore. — Multnomah County health officials are drafting a proposal that would ban the sale of flavored nicotine products within the county.
Multnomah County Health Officer, Dr. Jennifer Vines, said county chair, Deborah Kafoury, asked the health department to come up with a plan they would go over in September. The county board will make the final decision.
Vines said even though the age to purchase these products is 21, teens are somehow still getting their hands on them.
These products are dangerous for everyone, especially teens and children, Vine said. "Seventeen percent of the time, we find tobacco retailers in Multnomah County selling to someone who is underage."
"We actually had a national outbreak of severe lung disease linked to vaping," Vines said.
The fruit flavors hook young people into trying these products, and then they become addicted. Vines said she understands the concerns of business owners.
"The bottom line here is one of health," Vines said. "This is the health and human suffering component. There is also an economic impact to poor health."
Multnomah County isn't the first to talk about this ban. Last November, Washington County Board of Commissioners voted 3 to 2 to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. The ban is currently on hold after a temporary injunction prohibited the enforcement.
Mo Hassan owns Mo's Smoke and Vape in Southeast Portland and said he hopes the ban doesn't happen.
"For a lot of smoke shops in the area, they will have to close," Hassan said. "That's the main thing for our business."
The county does want public comment, if people would like to share their opinion on this matter, they can go to the Multnomah County website.