According to Oregon’s new law, starting January 1, store owners will have to pay a fine worth $500 if they sell tobacco as well as vaping products to consumers that are below the age of 21 years old. The store managers will have to pay a fine of $250 while the employees will be paying $50. For their third offence, the managers together with the owners will have to pay double the initial fine. This is according to the new law which increases the legal age for consumers who are allowed to consumer vape and tobacco, from 18 to 21 years old.
According to one of the head state official, they admit that the implementation efforts might be limited.
Mike Honan who is the co-owner of Valley Vapors located in Salem said that they have already been preparing for the big change come Monday. They are willing to uphold the new law and they have been following when the buying age limit was still 18 years old thus they will follow now that it has been increased to 21 years old.
D-Oregon’s Governor Kate Brown was the one who signed the law back in August which states that only consumers at least 21 years old will be legally allowed to buy tobacco and vaping products.
Despite being signed months ago, the Oregon Health Authority or OHA together with the Oregon State Police or OSP decided to enforce the law starting January 1.
Honan said that the fact is that customers between the age of 18 and 21 who are into vaping will still be able to buy in other states because the product is available for sale online. There is a requirement to prove that you are 18 before buying online and it is still possible because some states still have the minimum buying age set at 18.
The health officer and epidemiologist of the state, Katrina Hedberg, said that they will mainly use underage people and retired officers to conduct store inspections. They will concentrate on retailers located in Oregon that are selling vape and tobacco products.