New law prohibits vaping and e-cig use by minors and in workplaces

Beginning April 5, 2015, using vape pens, e-cigarettes and other inhalant delivery systems is prohibited in any workplace in Multnomah County where smoking is already banned.

In addition, minors can no longer buy or use or possess these devices.

On Thursday, March 5, 2015, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted to restrict the use of inhalant delivery systems, also known as e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-hookahs, etc. The law:

● Prohibits selling inhalant delivery systems to people under the age of 18.

● Prohibits minors (under 18) from purchasing inhalant delivery systems.

● Prohibits minors from using or possessing inhalant delivery systems.

● Prohibits use of inhalant delivery systems in workplaces where smoking is prohibited.

Why the changes?

The Board acted because, as the Local Public Health Authority, Multnomah County is responsible for the health of the community.

E-cigarettes pose a potential health risk. Currently, there are no rules around the manufacturing, packaging, sale or use of e-cigarette devices or e-liquid. The public does not know what ingredients are in the products, or the potential health effects of the ingredients themselves or in combination in the products.

Many of these contain nicotine, and highly addictive drug that can affect youth brain development.

In addition to nicotine, studies have found harmful or potentially harmful chemicals in inhalant delivery systems including diethylene glycol, a toxic chemical found in antifreeze and formaldehyde. Depending on the device, harmful lead, cadmium and nickel can also be present.

What will happen next?

The Multnomah County Health Department is launching a public education effort to notify members of the public and business community of the new law.

In addition, the Health Department will launch a rule-making process in the next several months to determine enforcement and other requirements.Call the Multnomah County Tobacco Prevention & Education Program at 503.988.4163, option 3, or email: to talk to become involved. Follow this webpage for updates.

What does this mean for business owners?

As a business owner in Multnomah County, you may not sell inhalant delivery systems (e-cigarettes, vape pens, e-hookahs, etc.) to people under the age of 18.

The law also prohibits the use of inhalant delivery systems in workplaces where smoking is prohibited. You may not allow the use of inhalant delivery systems inside your business, or within 10 feet of doors, windows that open, or air intake vents.

Multnomah County has new signs that businesses can download and print. If you are unable to download and print, you may also contact the Tobacco Prevention & Education Program at Tobacco Prevention & Education Program staff by phone: 503.988.4163, option 3, or email: to request signs for your business.

Learn more:

E-Cigarettes and the Growing Culture of Vaping, A data report on emerging public health policy issues, November 2014.

Public Hearing & Second Reading of Ordinance Amending MC Code Chapter 21

We Card E-Cigarette Signs

Outdoor Signs

Oregon Tobacco Quit Line