The Oregon Court of Appeals granted a temporary stay on Governor Kate Brown’s ban on flavored tobacco vaping products just two days after the ban took effect.
The ban created through a recent Executive Order also included a ban on marijuana vaping products regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). That ban remains in place.
The temporary stay was issued in response to two petitions for injunctions filed with the court against Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), the rule issuing body that oversees tobacco-based vaping products, seeking a judicial review of the ban.
On October 4, Governor Brown ordered a six-month ban on flavored vaping products in Oregon in response to an epidemic of vaping-related illnesses across the country. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report 1,080 confirmed and probable lung injury cases associated with e-cigarette product use, or vaping and 18 deaths nationwide. Oregon has reported nine illnesses and two deaths.
Two Portland vaping retailers are plaintiffs in the case, and argue that Oregon regulators and the governor lack the legal standing to create or enforce the ban. The lawsuit states, the Executive Order “directed the Authority to ‘develop legislative proposals’ to ‘clarify and expand OHA’s authority to take action when a harm or risk to the public’s health is present.’ One imagines the Governor would not have told OHA to ‘expand’ its powers if she simply could have pointed OHA to an existing statute giving it the authority to promulgate the Vaping Prohibition. And it is the legislature, not the executive, that can expand (or contract) an agency’s authority.
This month, state courts blocked similar flavored vaping bans in Michigan, New York, and Utah.
Contributed by: Megan Chuinard | Public Affairs Associate