WashCo Dems Call to Action: Flavored Tobacco Ban (10/19)
Will Washington County ban the sale of flavored tobacco? You can help save our county health system money and keep our community healthy with your input.
Submitted by Nathan Sosa.
Tuesday Oct 19 10am.
The Washington County Commission is considering a measure that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products throughout the county. On October 19, 2021 at 10:00 a.m., the commission will consider an ordinance to restrict the sale of flavored tobacco or eliminate it altogether.
On October 12, 2021, the Washington County Public Health Division made a presentation to the county commissioners in which it outlined the harm being done by the spread of flavored tobacco products. The tobacco industry channels advertising and discounts into low income and minority neighborhoods which leads to health inequities in our community. In addition, flavored tobacco is used to lure young people into smoking by offering a variety of options that mask the harsh flavor of tobacco. In Washington County, 9% of eighth graders and 18% of eleventh graders currently use vaping products regularly. In 2019, Washington County spent $215.9 million on tobacco-related medical expenses.
The county commission is considering the adoption of Ordinance 878 to ban price promotions / discounts and restrict the sale of flavored tobacco to businesses whose customers are over 21 years old. Commissioner Nafisa Fai, however, is proposing that the commission go further by banning the sale of flavored tobacco products throughout the county. Commission Chair Kathryn Harrington is supporting the proposed measure as well.
Community members are encouraged to weigh-in on this issue by submitting written or live testimony. You can do so by going to https://washingtoncounty.civicweb.net/Portal/3457/HowtoTestify
The proposed ordinance is part of a broader effort recently to regulate the consumption of tobacco. In 2017, Oregon raised the minimum age to purchase tobacco and vaping products from 18 to 21 years old. From 2020 – 2021, Oregon raised the tobacco tax and instituted a tax on vaping products for the first time. In 2021, the Oregon legislature passed SB587 which created the first state-wide licensure requirement for tobacco retailers and gave further regulatory as well as taxing power to local jurisdictions. Nationwide, 310 localities have placed some restriction on flavored tobacco products. If the commission adopts Ordinance 878 or the proposed amendment, however, Washington County would be the first locality to restrict flavored tobacco in Oregon.
- Sign up to give written or verbal testimony
- Attend Tuesday October 19 2021 10am Washington County Commission meeting online
- “It is both fiscally responsible for our county health services and beneficial to the health of our community to ban flavored tobacco, I support Nafisa Fai’s proposal.”