By Sami Donovan
As of Monday, May 25, 2015, Oregon ended up passing the House Bill 2546, the house voted 56-2. The Bill was created to stop minors from obtaining e-cigs, and also to stop adults from smoking in public buildings like bars, restaurants and workplaces. E-cigs (vapers) are now being treated more like cigarettes, and are not allowed to be sold to anyone under the age of 18. Oregon was one of nine states that still allowed minors to purchase electronic cigarettes.
Traditional smoking is going down, but e-cigarettes or vape pens are at an all time high in Oregon for minors. Vaping devices have nicotine in the flavored juices put into the device. Vapor is created when a liquid is heated with a battery-powered element. The products are sold in many stores, some stores created specifically for vape pens, and due to the many flavors (more than 8,000), it attracts the attention to minors. Vape pens often come off as better for you, it still contains harmful chemicals and nicotine.
Minors can no longer purchase e-cigarettes anymore and hopefully minors smoking or “vaping” will lower down in Oregon. This Bill has been a statewide law and all cities are working on the change and making it final. Other states have also been starting to change this so minors cannot get e-cigs easily or hopefully at all.
The second part of the Bill is that adults cannot smoke inside places such as workplaces, bars, etc. The Indoor Clean Air Act is very strong on not smoking indoors so that the air can stay clear. E-cigarettes are now being treated like traditional cigarettes even if it’s a healthier option (though not many studies have been done on how electronic cigarettes affect humans compared to traditional cigarettes).
Doctor White, security at North Eugene High School, was asked about how he felt towards the law and underage students smoking e-cigarettes. He responsed with “I like the law, it should be honored. I have confiscated at least 10 e-cigs from students under the age of 18. I don’t think students should be able to buy one under the age of 18.” Doctor White is a non-smoker, but has friends who do and doesn’t like it.