New Oregon tobacco law changes UP smoking policy

By Sam Cushing | January 15, 2018 9:54pm
A University of Portland student uses a tobacco vaporizer between classes. Under a new Oregon law, it is illegal for people under 21 years old to use, possess or purchase tobacco products.
Media Credit: Annika Gordon / The Beacon

Students under the age of 21 are no longer allowed to use or possess tobacco products like cigarettes or vaporizers in accordance with new Oregon law.

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Oregon House Bill 2024 into law in Aug. 2017, and it took effect on Jan. 1, making Oregon the fifth state to raise the legal age of tobacco sales to 21, after California, Hawaii, Maine and New Jersey. The legislation imposes higher taxes on tobacco sales and raises the minimum legal age to purchase and consume tobacco products from 18 to 21 years of age. 

Under the new law, universities must now have “a written policy prohibiting the possession of tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems by persons under 21 years of age…” as well as “a written plan to implement the policy” as stated in section 27.3 of HB 2024

Some students at the University of Portland smoke and use tobacco vaporizers in between classes. Under new Oregon law, it is illegal for anyone under 21 years of age to use, possess or purchase tobacco products.
by Annika Gordon / The Beacon

“Students may be subject to the University conduct process for underage possession, consumption, or transportation of tobacco and inhalant delivery systems, or for providing tobacco and inhalant delivery systems to any person who is underage,” Sarah Meiser, associate director of community standards, outlined in an email sent out on Jan. 12.

The new regulation applies to any “tobacco products and inhalant delivery systems” as well as any nicotine that is “inhaled for the purpose of delivering the nicotine into a person’s respiratory system,” meaning students under the age of 21 will no longer be allowed to possess or use vaporizers, e-cigs, cigarettes or cigars on campus.

According to Meiser, 31 students living in the university’s nine residence halls identified as smokers when asked on their housing applications; 25 are freshmen and sophomores.