Commissioner Sharon Meieran called today for a public hearing on raising the legal age to purchase tobacco and vape products from 18 to 21.
An emergency room physician, Dr. Meieran announced her intention at the regular June 22 Board of County Commissioners meeting and in a letter to friends and colleagues.
“Tobacco 21 has been one of my top priorities since entering office,’’ she wrote. “Raising the legal age is a smart, simple intervention that will save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in our healthcare system by preventing future tobacco addiction.’’
Dr. Meieran lauded the Legislature for considering this “important public health policy’’ during this session. But she also requested time on the July 13 Board meeting to discuss a prospective County policy.
“I want to be ready to act swiftly here in Multnomah County in the event the Legislature does not act.’’
After several Health Department briefings on tobacco licensing, the Board of County Commissioners expressed interested in public feedback on such a proposal. The Board will hold several public hearings on the concept, the first on July 13 at the board meeting and through an web-based comment page.
You can read the full letter here: The public hearing will be Thursday, July 13, 2017 during the regular board meeting in the Multnomah Building, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., Portland.