Health

Judge halts Multnomah County ban on flavored tobacco, nicotine products

By April Ehrlich (OPB)
Dec. 29, 2023 8:19 p.m.

An appeals court has temporarily halted enforcement of Multnomah County’s retail ban on flavored tobacco and nicotine products, which was set to go into effect on Monday.

The Oregon Court of Appeals issued an order Thursday that postpones the county’s ordinance.

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Earlier this month, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge had denied a request by tobacco businesses to prevent the ordinance from going into effect. But those businesses appealed the decision.

In court filings, tobacco retailers argued the ban would cause irreparable harm to their sales, leading to employee terminations and substantial income losses. They said some businesses would be forced to close as soon as the ordinance went into effect.

Multnomah County is the second Oregon jurisdiction to enact a ban on selling flavored tobacco products. The first was neighboring Washington County, but its ordinance was overturned by a different circuit court judge last year.

These retail bans are intended to prevent tobacco use among children and teens, which health officials say can develop into lifelong nicotine addiction.

FILE: Varieties of disposable flavored electronic cigarette devices manufactured by EB Design, formerly known as Elf Bar, are displayed at a store in Pinecrest, Fla., June 26, 2023.

FILE: Varieties of disposable flavored electronic cigarette devices manufactured by EB Design, formerly known as Elf Bar, are displayed at a store in Pinecrest, Fla., June 26, 2023.

Rebecca Blackwell / AP


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