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Oregon Vapers Likely To Circumvent Ban Via Internet

On the eve of Oregon's temporary ban on flavored vape products, Marcus Nettles of Rose City Vapors was selling his inventory for 40% off.

He said he's frustrated by the ban because he’s just going to lose customers to the internet.

“You can get online — you can order whatever you want at whatever age because there’s nobody on your computer or your cellphone saying you’re not actually 21,” said Nettles, who plans to fight the temporary ban during the next legislative session. 

Oregon state epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger noted that buying flavored vape products off the internet is a violation of the new ban.  

"Online sales of flavored vapor products will be banned in Oregon. So these products cannot be purchased in person or online or by any other means in the state of Oregon," Sidelinger said. 

The state is imposing the ban after nine Oregonians were sickened, including two who died, from a lung illness associated with vaping. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 1,300 people across 49 states have been sickened during the outbreak. 

A number of vapers who spoke to OPB confirm Nettles' worry, saying they expect to circumvent the ban by going online and ordering from a state where there is no flavor ban.

Rose City Vapors customer Matt Menard said if he buys online, he doubts he’ll get caught.

“I will order online from any location that will deliver to wherever I’m at to get what flavor I want and the nicotine content,” he said.

He said he gave up smoking three years ago and has now stockpiled three bottles of his favorite mixture. He said he may even learn to mix his own liquid at home to get around the ban.

Oregon’s six-month ban went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Lawmakers are expected to consider a bill to make the ban permanent during the next legislative session. 

<p>Customer fills up vape pen with flavored nicotine liquid. A ban on the liquid goes into effect first thing Tuesday.&nbsp;</p>

Kristian Foden-Vencil. 


Customer fills up vape pen with flavored nicotine liquid. A ban on the liquid goes into effect first thing Tuesday. 

Copyright 2019 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Kristian Foden-Vencil is a reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. He specializes in health care, business, politics, law and public safety.