Unfortunately, while the good die young, there are some issues around the capitol that just won’t go away no matter how many times they’ve been killed. We are seeing that this year around encroachments on the Indoor Clean Air Act (ICAA). SB 799 would create a carve-out in the ICAA to allow sampling of products in “vape shops.” While the bill technically limits sampling to nicotine-free products, the majority of “e-juice” contains nicotine and regulation and monitoring for compliance would be challenging. In addition to the public health concerns this bill presents, we have local governments who have passed ordinances prohibiting said sampling and there is no clear allowance in the bill for local regulation. The bill was heard in Senate Health Care on Thursday, March 30th with public health advocates strongly opposed – including Senator Taylor, the Cancer Society, the Lung Association, the Oregon Coalition of Local Health Officials (CLHO), Multnomah County, the League of Oregon Cities (LOC), and AOC. While a work session has not been scheduled, a discussion in the Democratic Caucus is possible.
Similarly, the vape community tried to make inroads in the House this week as well. Representative Helm introduced HB 3345 to explicitly add common areas of multi-unit housing to the ICAA and to increase the set-back for smoking in public from 10 feet to 25 feet from the entrance of any building. During the public hearing on March 27th, a -1 amendment was discussed that would use this bill as a vehicle for the vape sampling carve-out. This