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Friday, September 22, 2023
Sept. 22, 2023

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Multnomah County, Ore., might ban sales of flavored nicotine

‘A lot of smoke shops in the area ... will have to close’


PORTLAND — Multnomah County health officials in Portland are drafting a proposal that would ban the sale of flavored nicotine products.

Multnomah County Health Officer Dr. Jennifer Vines said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury asked the health department earlier this month to create a policy proposal to review in September, KGW reported.

Any proposal would go before the county board for final approval.

Vines said that although the age to purchase these products is 21, teens are getting them.

“Seventeen percent of the time, we find tobacco retailers in Multnomah County selling to someone who is underage,” she said.

The fruit flavors hook young people into trying the products, and then they become addicted, she said.

“The bottom line here is one of health,” Vines said, noting cases across the county of severe lung disease linked to vaping.

Last year, the Board of Commissioners in neighboring Washington County voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products. That ban is on hold after a temporary injunction prohibited the enforcement.

Mo Hassan, who owns Mo’s Smoke and Vape in Southeast Portland, 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.”

Public comment is being sought online at the Multnomah County website.