PORTLAND, Ore. – Oregon Senator Ron Wyden met with community leaders in Portland to advocate for the increased taxation of e-cigarettes.
Sen. Wyden proposed taxing e-cigarette imports from China this past August. He was primarily concerned about the rise of e-cigarette use among youth.
“There are a lot of things we don’t know about e-cigarettes, but we do know that these products are flooding into the country from China and getting into the hands of young people,” Wyden said in an August 15 press release. “Virtually overnight a new generation of nicotine users has been created by-products that are untaxed and subject to minimal safety standards or oversight. Increasing the price of cigarettes made it far less likely that teenagers would take up smoking – I’ll be introducing legislation to tax e-cigarettes in the same way.”
After an Oregonian died from a vaping-related illness, Wyden said he’s teaming up with local allies to fight this “health hazard at every level.”
In a September 6 appearance in Portland, Wyden said e-cigarettes “expose users to dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde…”
Wyden went on to say he believes the companies involved in the vaping trend are making billions of dollars are downplaying the health risks.
“When the Senate comes back next week, I’m gonna do two things,” Wyden said. “One is to make sure that the recent death in Oregon that’s under investigation by state health officials, and any other across the country, get front-and-center attention in the United States Senate. And two: I will introduce legislation to address this growing problem by taxing e-cigarettes the same way as traditional cigarettes are taxed.”
Wyden ended his appearance by saying, “We can’t drop the ball and allow a new generation of people to become addicted to these dangerous products.”