Enforcement of Washington County’s flavored tobacco ban…

120 points

Leaders stated they handed the ordinance to deal with the youth smoking epidemic. Nonetheless, some companies really feel the measure misses the purpose.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. — Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, a number of new legal guidelines are kicking in. 

For some shops in Washington County, which means clearing off their cabinets. County leaders banned all flavored tobacco — together with vape pens and menthol cigarettes — as an effort to maintain the merchandise away from kids and youths. 

Enforcement of the ordinance begins at the beginning of the brand new yr. 

Due to the ban, Oregon Vape Shoppe in Hillsboro is closing its doorways after seven years, promoting the final of their product at a reduction.

“That is what we’ve got left, we have whittled down 4 partitions of shelving, and e-liquid all the way down to this,” stated proprietor Christopher Ferreira. “Flavored vapor merchandise, as a result of we’re a vape solely retailer, have been over 90% of our enterprise mannequin. I am unable to survive on lower than 10%, simply promoting the units or tobacco solely.”

Gwyn Ashcom, Washington County’s tobacco prevention coordinator, issued KGW this assertion Thursday afternoon:

“Tobacco stays the primary reason behind preventable demise. Flavors masks the pure harshness of tobacco, making it simpler to proceed to make use of. We’re proud to be the primary county in Oregon to guard our neighborhood members from the harms of flavored tobacco with Ordinance 878.”

Nonetheless, Ferreira stated he, and different retailers, do not promote to folks underneath the age of 21. He feels outlets like his have been unfairly focused.

“It’s a very strict ordinance,” he stated. “They performed mother or father overseer, and thought that by banning simply the flavored product that they have been going to do away with the problem. What they’re doing is just banning the sale of this product, so the kids that they’re attempting to save lots of are nonetheless going to get this product.”

Jonathan Polonsky, the CEO of Plaid Pantry, stated he believes voters ought to have an opportunity to vote on the ban.

“We felt fairly strongly that one thing that impactful that was finished at a county stage, not a state stage, voters ought to have a proper to chime in on it and never have or not it’s determined by 5 folks,” Polonsky stated. “So I began a petition to try to transfer it to a vote, which might happen in Could.”

Polonsky stated he has two dozen shops in Washington County, and whereas his enterprise could solely take a partial hit because of the ban, it impacts different small, impartial companies locally. To this point, he stated they’re as much as 7,000 signatures, however want 10,000 whole.

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