BEND, OR -- Oregon’s Indoor Clean Air Act is getting an upgrade, January first. Penny Pritchard, Deschutes County’s Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, tells KBND current law only prohibits tobacco in and around public buildings, and doesn’t include marijuana and e-cigarettes. "We’ve got a lot of loopholes and it’s just really confusing for the public to understand what we’re talking about. I’ve had a lot of complaints within Deschutes County from businesses asking to implement their own vapor-free policies because people are actually vaping in theaters or in other public places."
She says that current loophole doesn’t protect people from the potential risk of new second-hand inhalants, like e-cigarettes. "High levels of vapor emitting formaldehyde, so that’s a public health concern. You know, we honestly need longer-term research as well, to fully understand the impacts of what e-cigarettes can do to overall health." The new law includes all inhalant delivery systems. Pritchard says, "So that means both marijuana and e-cigarettes can’t be used in any place that smoking is prohibited. The Clean Air Act says you can’t smoke, vape or use tobacco within 10 feet of any entrance or exit of any building."
Pritchard says updated indoor clean air act decals are available for free for businesses from Deschutes County Public Health.