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Local businesses hold their breath over Oregon vape ban

Governor Kate Brown vape ban sign in vape shop (Shelby Reilly/News 10)

The Oregon Health Authority is trying to put together rules and regulations for the Governor’s announced flavored vaping ban across the state — which could hit stores as early as tomorrow.

The ban would make all businesses take artificially flavored vaping products off of their shelves.

“Customers are definitely worried, they’re worried that they’re not going to be able to get their e-liquids — flavored e-liquids — which are the things that are helping them keep from smoking,” Bob Foote, CEO of McBlend Flavors, said.

Although there are risks with smoking any kind of nicotine, Foote said they are just trying to make people aware of the ban.

“We’re just trying to make sure that we educate everybody to let them know if you want your favorite flavors, you need to get them now. We are seeing people stock up,” Foote said.

Rogue Valley Cannabis in Ashland said they are discounting the prices of the products until the are officially told to remove them

“We always put the safety of our customers and the care of our patients first so as soon as we heard a ban might be coming down, we talked to the OLCC and we’re kind of just waiting for them to make their official rules telling us to pull those products off the shelves,” Sage Piersel, general manager of Rogue Valley Cannabis, said.

Although they are telling people to stock up now Foote said this is impacting the vaping business heavily.

“So the flavor band, however the rules come out, will have a major impact on us,” Foote said.

No matter the impact, Foote said they will always keep their customers educated with the potential risks.

“We have warnings at every transaction, we have warnings online, our staff is extremely educated and are educating customers every day,” Foote said.

The ban would remove certain vaping products from the shelves, but some health officials are still worried about the risks of vaping in general.

Dr. Jim Shames, health officer for Jackson County, said there have been over 1,300 vape related illnesses and deaths in the country, so it’s best to not use any vape products at all.

He also mentions that because it is still unknown what is causing the sicknesses, you should just assume that vaping isn’t safe at all — and promoting it is a bad idea.

“I think that’s irresponsible. I understand from a business aspect that this is pretty tough but really the vaping industry is like the Wild West right now — there’s not a lot of regulations,” Dr. Shames said.

If you are vaping as a way to not smoke cigarettes as much, Dr. Shames said they are not suggesting that you go back to cigarettes, but use an alternative such as patches.

The businesses that News 10 spoke with today said they expect the rules and regulations for the ban could be out as early as tomorrow, which is when they would pull the products off of their shelves.

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