OREGON

 

 

OREGON FLAVOR BAN WOULD VAPORIZE TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION

February 3, 2020
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TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION 101: OREGON

January 16, 2020

Key Points: 

  • Oregon’s vaping industry provided more than $215 million in economic activity in 2018 while generating 963 direct vaping-related jobs. Sales of disposables and prefilled cartridges in Oregon exceeded $6 million in 2016.

  • As of January 2, 2020, OHA has reported 22 cases of vaping-related lung illnesses, including two deaths. OHA notes the use of THC-containing vaping devices, and both deaths have been associated with such products, including one purchased at a dispensary. OHA earns a B for its reporting on vaping-related lung illnesses.

  • In 2019, only 4.4 percent of Oregon high school students reported daily e-cigarette use. More data is needed.   

  • Less than 1 percent of FDA retail compliance checks in Oregon resulted in sales of e-cigarettes to minors from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

  • Oregon spends very little on tobacco prevention. In 2019, Oregon dedicated only $10 million on tobacco control, or 2 percent of what the state received in tobacco settlement payments and taxes.

OREGON’S MISGUIDED FLAVOR BAN IS DISSERVICE TO PUBLIC HEALTH, UNLIKELY TO REDUCE RECENT HOSPITALIZATIONS

October 10, 2019
  • On October 4, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown ordered “state agencies to enact a temporary ban on the sale of flavored vaping products.

  • Although the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Oregon Liquor Control Commission have yet to enact a ban, rules are expected to be published in the second week of October.

  • Although addressing youth use of age-restricted products is laudable, flavor bans are ineffective measures to reduce youth e-cigarette use. Further, many state health departments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have linked a majority of vaping-related lung injury cases to the use of illicit and unregulated vaping devices containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

  • The Heartland Institute examined the effects of flavor bans, finding these measures to have no impact on youth e-cigarette use.

    • Santa Clara County, California, banned flavored tobacco products to age-restricted stores in 2014. Despite this, youth e-cigarette use increased. In the 2015-16 California Youth Tobacco Survey (CYTS), 7.5 percent of Santa Clara high school students reported current use of e-cigarettes. In the 2017-18 CYTS, this increased to 10.7 percent.

  • A 2018 survey of nearly 70,000 American adult vapers found flavors to be integral to e-cigarette use. In fact, 83.2 percent and 72.3 percent of survey respondents reported vaping fruit and dessert flavors, respectively.

  • Oregon’s flavor ban will likely lead to even more hospitalizations because it does absolutely nothing to diminish use of the products causing the outbreak of hospitalizations: illicit THC products.

    • On September 3, OHA announced “the individual, who died in July, had recently used an e-cigarette or vaping device containing cannabis purchased from a cannabis dispensary.

    • On September 26, OHA announced the second Oregon death, stating it was “an individual who had been hospitalized with respiratory symptoms after vaping cannabis products.

  • These findings are similar to an October 3 CDC report examining recent hospitalizations nationally. CDC was able to gather information on 578 of the supposed 1,080 hospitalizations. Of the 578 patients, 78 percent “reported using THC-containing products, with or without nicotine-containing products.”

  • Even more alarming, although Brown wants to address youth use of e-cigarettes, Oregon directs very little of existing tobacco moneys to tobacco control programs.

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OREGON CIGARETTE AND VAPE TAX WOULD VAPORIZE TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION

May 8, 2019
  • In response to Gov. Kate Brown’s request to fund Oregon’s fledgling Medicaid program, lawmakers introduced legislation that would raise the Beaver State’s excise tax on combustible cigarettes.

  • House Bill 2270 would increase the cigarette excise tax by $2, bringing the total tax to $3.33 per pack of 20 cigarettes.

    • The funds collected will be “appropriated to the Oregon Health Authority for health-related programs.

  • House Bill 2123 would tax vaping products at two different rates:

    • a 95 percent wholesale tax would apply to “inhalant form nicotine that is sold separately from an inhalant delivery system,

    • and a 75 percent wholesale tax would be imposed on devices “containing inhalant form nicotine and does not require any additional components for use.

  • House Bill 2159 would apply a 95 percent wholesale tax on vaping devices.

  • Both H.B. 2270 and H.B. 2159 would deposit generated revenue into the state’s general fund. No funds would be earmarked for tobacco prevention and cessation efforts.

  • Cigarette are unreliable and disproportionately impact lower-income persons.

    • A Cato Journal article notes from 2010 to 2011, “smokers earning less than $30,000 per year spent 14.2 percent of their household income on cigarettes, compared to 4.3 percent for smokers earning between $30,000 and $59,999 and 2 percent for smokers earning more than $60,000.”

  • Oregon lawmakers want to provide additional funding for Medicaid by taxing e-cigarettes, which save states money by reducing smoking-related health care costs.

    • One analysis estimated states’ combined Medicaid savings would have amounted to $48 billion in 2012 if all Medicaid recipients who smoked switched to e-cigarettes. A recent study estimated Medicaid savings to “be approximately $2.8 billion per 1 percent of enrollees” in Medicaid who switch from using tobacco to e-cigarettes over the next 25 years.

  • Taxes do not deter youth use of e-cigarettes. An analysis by The Heartland Institute examined the effects of Pennsylvania’s 2016 40 percent wholesale tax on vaping products. According to the 2015 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS), 15.5 percent of middle and high school students reported using an e-cigarette within the past 30 days. In 2017, PAYS found this increased to 16.3 percent of middle and high school students. Notably, e-cigarette use among 10th and 12th graders increased from 20.4 and 27 percent respectively, in 2015, to 21.9 and 29.3 percent in 2017.

  • Oregon currently dedicates a very small amount of funding, relative to the amount of tobacco-related tax revenues received, to help smokers quit.

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©2020 by Tobacco Harm Reduction 101.