The other night I was out, and some friends of mine asked me what I thought about Oregon banning electric cigarettes! They knew I was sort of “in the business”, and they wanted to know what I was going to do now that I couldn’t even use them anymore!
That’s what they thought they heard on the news the other nigh! I straightened them out and I told them that Oregon has not, and did not ban electric cigarettes. They are not illegal to own, use, possess, or to sell, anywhere in Oregon. While this may be the endgame of our attorney General John Kroeger, I assure you, it ain’t happened yet!
If you recall, about a year ago, Oregon DID try to ban electric cigarettes,, but they were unsuccessful.
This was followed by the FDA trying to take control of the electronic cigarette industry nationally, but they failed too, so there is no law in Oregon against electronic cigarettes.
So What’s the Story?
What happened last week, which my friends were misinformed about, was (according to the Register Guard), the state of Oregon DID win a legal claim and fine of $95,000 against Smoking Everywhere for their part in misleading us poor unsuspecting and defenseless consumers.
According to the article,
The Florida company, Smoking Everywhere, Inc., must pay $95,000 to the state Department of Justice to cover the state’s litigation costs. Smoking Everywhere admitted in its settlement to violating the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act. The company’s president, Elico Taieb, agreed to pay $25,000.
Note though this was NOT a law change in electric cigarettes, and in fact had nothing to do with the electric cigarette industry. It was a violation of the Oregon Unlawful Trade Practices Act.
Smoking Everywhere did not seek U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval prior to releasing its e-cigarettes for distribution. The company marketed its products as a safe alternative to traditional tobacco products
Well the US FDA has no right to approve or disapprove at this time, so the article has that skewed, and what the article does NOT say, is that Smoking Everywhere was also banned from doing business in Oregon.
A phone call to Smoking Everywhere just now at 800-613-0337 confirmed that they are unable to ship and are “banned” in Oregon, and the woman on the phone was unclear about how long this may be for.
Whether Smoking Anywhere did or didn’t market it as safe is immaterial at this point, because the case is closed. They apparently told consumers verbally that they were “safe” and that remains to be proven.
I guess Oregon would prefer that if we don’t know all of the the risks, then we keep smoking regular cigarettes, which are proven to kill us, because at least we’ll be paying tax dollars. I’m lso ucky to live here 😉
To to be clear, only that one company is barred from doing business in Oregon, but otherwise the electric cigarette business is going on as usual. I’ve caught recent glimpses of ecigs in the wild at a few Portland venues (including Berbati last night), but I haven’t seen them in any stores since the Smoking Everywhere mall kiosks were closed.
So one last time… electronic cigarettes are not illegal in Oregon… yet!