This letter originally appeared in the Register-Guard on December 22, 2015.
The Register-Guard was correct to urge the Oregon Legislature to become the 41st state to pass a law banning the sale of vapor products, otherwise known as e-cigarettes, to minors (editorial, Dec. 19).
However, the editors erred in falsely stating that there’s evidence that vapor products can be gateways to cigarette smoking. To the contrary, there’s zero evidence that vapor products lead teens to smoke. In the Hawaii study referenced in the editorial, a record low smoking rate was found among the youth population studied.
Meanwhile, at the national level, as experimentation with vaping by teens has risen, smoking has declined dramatically. In fact, smoking has declined at a rate never before seen among young people.
The Oregon Legislature failed to ban sales of vapor products to minors last year, not because the vapor industry opposed it but because anti-vaping campaigners wanted taxes and bans.
In the 2015 legislative session Oregon politicians should pass a common sense bill banning the sale of vapor products to minors and save the discussions about taxes and bans for another day.
Gregory Conley, President
American Vaping Association