State lawmakers in Oregon advanced legislation over the weekend that would close what they consider to be online loopholes for vaping sales.

SALEM, Ore. — The Oregon House of Representatives voted to advance House Bill (HB) 2261. This bill would require a face-to-face purchase of electronic cigarettes, making it difficult for individuals under the age of 21 years to obtain them.

“I got involved in this issue when high school students from my district contacted me and told me how easily their peers were getting access to these products online,” said State Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Southern Jackson County. “We all know vaping is bad for kids. The nicotine in these devices is highly addictive and can negatively impact developing brains. Closing this loophole is important for the health of young Oregonians and has the added benefit of keeping business for licensed Oregon tobacco and vape retailers in [the] state.”

It turns out that Marsh’s proposal came as a request from Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum. Sen. Kathleen Taylor, D-Milwaukie, is the Senate sponsor for the bill. HB 2261, which made it through the state House on a vote of 44 to 4, now advances to the Oregon Senate for consideration and potential passage.

According to the Legislative Assembly, House Bill 2261 “prohibits remote sales of inhalant delivery systems.” It also “defines “inhalant delivery system”” and mandates that “”21 years of age” for “the legal minimum purchase age”” and “requires tobacco retailer to obtain the local license if operating in [the] jurisdiction with local license requirement.

“A person may not engage in delivery sales of tobacco in this state without first obtaining the applicable distributor’s license,” the bill text also states.

The Oregon Legislative Assembly passed House Bill 3461 in 2017. This bill banned online sales of cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products across state lines. House Bill 2261 would bring these policies around ENDS devices into existing policies.

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