It is reported that the Washington County Committee in Portland, Oregon is considering banning retail stores from selling flavored tobacco and steam products for people under the age of 21.
On 21 September, the committee heard a hearing on a decree prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products, synthetic nicotine and equipment for inhaling these products in retail stores that allow persons under the age of 21 to enter. At present, the second reading has been held.
It also prohibits retailers from offering discounts or using promotional prices for such products.
In the public comments of the committee’s online meeting, 22 speakers took the floor, and most speakers opposed the regulation.
Supporters of the law said that in the context of the explosive growth in the use of electronic cigarette products by teenagers across the country, the action was bold to limit young people’s exposure to harmful products. He said it would be a step.
Health care professionals and members of the youth drug abuse prevention group mainly constitute supporters.
Opponents, mainly local convenience store owners and product distributors, said that the regulation would be unfairly disadvantaged in the market and would lose a large part of its revenue because it continued to address the economic impact of the pandemic.
They added that state legislation, including the law to raise the minimum age for the purchase of tobacco and e-cigarette products to 21 in 2017, had fully prohibited the sale of such products to minors.
“Years of public health research have shown that these strategies are effective strategies to prevent young people from starting smoking,” Marni quill, head of the County Department of health and human services, said at a meeting. “We also know that the tobacco industry is doing more advertising and discounts for low-income areas of people of color.”
According to the data provided by kuyl, 63% of Grade 8 students and 75% of Grade 11 students reported using flavoring products when using tobacco products. She said the data came from the Oregon behavioral risk factor monitoring system’s health survey.
In addition, according to a local survey, 58% supported banning flavored tobacco and e-cigarette products, and 61% supported banning the price promotion of such products.
In a public comment, Anna tegan, the publicity director of the western region of the tobacco free children’s movement, said that such policies are the best way to prevent young people from using tobacco and e-cigarette products.
“During the new crown pandemic, the whole country, including children in Washington County, faced a public health crisis,” tegan said. “The health crisis is the use of cigarettes by teenagers. Nearly 17% of Grade 11 students and nearly 8.2% of Grade 8 students in Washington County smoke e-cigarettes. Therefore, protecting children’s health and preventing addiction should be our top priority.”
Representatives of local and national trade associations and retailers questioned the effectiveness of these policies and disagreed with the arguments in favour, saying that they were difficult to implement.
They say young people who want to buy flavored tobacco and steam breathing products only need to buy them in neighboring counties.
Saeed Anwar, the owner of a convenience store in Washington County, said that a fifth of his business comes from flavored cigarettes and electronic cigarettes.
He said that the loss of income caused by the regulations would force him to reduce the number of employees.
After the public consultation period, Commissioner Nafi Safi proposed a series of amendments to the act to extend the ban.
The Amendment prohibits the sale of flavored tobacco, synthetic nicotine and equipment for inhaling them throughout the county, including retail stores that only allow people over the age of 21 to enter.
“The power of public health really lies in prevention,” Pi said. “We are moving from restrictions to prohibitions.”
In response to the amendment proposed by phi, Commissioner Jerry Willy said that the action was inappropriate and that more time was needed to consider the impact of the amendment before voting on the amendment.
He added that representatives of companies that only serve people over the age of 21 might want to comment on the fix.
Commissioner Roy Rogers agreed that the amendment significantly changed the scope of the act, saying he could not support them.
He also proposed not to maintain the original scope of the regulations and pointed out the potential loss of enterprise income.
Catherine Harrington, chairman of the board of directors, said she supported Phi’s intention to extend the ban.
She said she sympathized with Willie and Rogers, who wanted to know more about the impact of the amendment, but rejected their claim that the procedure was inadequate.
Harrington said it was neither honest nor appropriate for her to make such a correction. This is how the legislative process works.
Phi later withdrew his motion to pass the amendment so that the committee could consider it.
After further review of the regulations, at a meeting on October 9, a motion for more public opinions was passed by 3-2 votes, and Willie and Rogers voted against it.