September 21, 2018

Oregon’s New Packaging Rules Take Effect

Imagine choosing from hundreds of nearly identical bottles, none using images of fruit or candy, or distinguishing branding that uses cartoons or animal figures.

Welcome to Oregon.

New Oregon rules for e-liquid packaging went into effect Sept. 1, and they’re unlike anything anywhere else in the country. The vast majority of commercial e-liquid sold in the U.S. will be illegal to sell in Oregon, unless the labels and packaging is significantly altered.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, “An inhalant delivery system is packaged in a manner that is attractive to minors if because of the packaging’s presentation, shape, graphics, coloring or writing, it is likely to appeal to minors.” The rules follow a law that was passed by the state legislature in 2017.

“Inhalant delivery system” means a vaping product that can be used for either e-liquid or a cannabis vaporizer. Similar labeling rules apply to cannabis in all forms, although since edibles like candy and pastries are themselves legal, dispensaries would have little need to put a picture of, say, a cookie on a cookie’s label.

The list of images and words that can’t be used on e-liquid bottles and packaging is extensive. But, according to the state, the list is “non-exclusive” — which means that state regulators could add to it without warning.

This is the “non-exclusive list” of label image elements “likely to appeal to minors”:

  • Cartoons
  • Celebrities
  • Athletes
  • Mascots
  • “Fictitious characters played by people”
  • “Other people likely to appeal to minors”
  • Candy
  • Desserts
  • Soda
  • “Food or beverages with sweet flavors including fruit or alcohol”
  • “The shape of any animal, commercially recognizable toy, sports equipment, or commercially recognizable candy”

The state also prohibits the use of “terms or descriptive words for flavors that are likely to appeal to minors,” including:

  • Tart
  • Tangy
  • Sweet
  • Cool
  • Fire
  • Ice
  • Lit
  • Spiked
  • Poppin’
  • Juice
  • Candy
  • Desserts
  • Soda
  • Sweet flavors including fruit
  • Alcohol flavors

The prohibition on e-liquids “packaged in a manner that is attractive to minors” even applies to e-liquid that doesn’t contain nicotine. The regulators also specify that packaging — for e-liquids that contains nicotine and those that don’t — must be child-resistant too, although that’s already mandated by federal law for nicotine-containing products

The laws will be enforced by state officials doing random compliance inspections.The fines for non-compliance can be very stiff. First violations are addressed with a warning letter, but after that the penalties grow. And each bottle that’s mislabeled is a separate violation.

  • Minimum of $500 for the second violation within a 24-month period of the first violation
  • Minimum of $800 for the third violation within a 24-month period of the second violation
  • Minimum of $2000 for the fourth violation within a 24-month period of the third violation
  • Minimum of $8000 for the fifth violation within a 36-month period of the fourth violation
  • Minimum of $15,000 for the sixth or subsequent violation within a 48-month period of the fifth violation

Since each bottle that breaks the rules counts separately, the fines could easily put a shop out of business. The limit for total fines issued during one inspection is $1,050,000!

With the vaping panic growing, and the FDA considering restrictions on e-liquid flavors, you can expect to see similar proposals coming from other state legislatures. There has never been a more important time for vape shops and juice manufacturers to join and participate in their state associations.

Smokers created vaping without any help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and vapers have the right to keep innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I recently joined the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy

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6comments

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1

This is great! Paranoia and fear of the English language as engineered by Public Health’s intellectually challenged “social scientists” and Tobaccoconartists {aka TC} all wrapped up for the principally challenged politicians of both parties.

This is a prime example of why we need a third party for sensible transparent legislation….or perhaps just people who give a shit?

2

Thanks Jim. Your news stories are always current. I really appreciate what you do. I started a news program on youtube to help get the word out. Check out the Vapors Report.

Jim McDonald
Author3

Thanks! I’ll check out your program soon.

4

I’m not surprised. The whole country must dumb down to the idiots of the country. Ecigs and all the stuff that goes with isn’t marketed to kids.

With the technology we have today, they can see it anywhere. They can lie and get into sites— etc.

Oregon in a very left wing state and I find left wing people want to protect you from yourself.

Sad state of affairs. People need to parent their kids. Take responsibility for themselves and their kids.

5

Oregon and Washington St. are essentially are extensions of California’s leftist ideology.

The left is the political equivalent of Black Plague carrying rat fleas of medieval Europe.

Once their pathogen destroys the areas they inhabit, they migrate. It never ceases to amaze the amount of people who are willing to hand over every aspect of their lives from cradle to grave to government. They obviously have never dealt with bureaucrats or studied the horrific and bloody consequences of unchecked tyrannical government throughout history.

The left has no interest in saving people from themselves, or saving anyone period.

The leftists are only interested in absolute power and control aka tyranny.

Jim McDonald
Author6

I approved this comment, despite its inflammatory tone, because the poster’s point of view isn’t unusual. The problem is that facts get in the way.

Among the states that have taxes or restrictions on vaping products, most are in Republican hands. North Carolina, Indiana, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana and Utah all have laws proposed and passed by GOP legislatures. And there are others that *didn’t* pass that were proposed by Republicans, like the taxes in Alabama and Ohio.

It’s only tyranny if they’re not elected — or capable of being thrown out of office — by citizens in open elections. There is nothing preventing Oregon citizens from punishing the state representatives who passed the law that mandated these regulations. They get punished at the ballot box, and your ability to do that is what prevents it from being tyranny.

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