PORTLAND, Ore. — Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden says he will introduce federal legislation next week that would tax e-cigarettes in the same way that traditional cigarettes are taxed to reduce their appeal to teenagers and young adults.
Wyden spoke the day after Oregon health officials announced they are investigating the death of a middle-aged adult who contracted a severe respiratory disease after using a vaping device that contained cannabis.
Wyden, a Democrat, said Wednesday he would use the Oregon death to focus his colleagues' attention on the growing practice of vaping nationwide, particularly among teenagers.
The person who died in Oregon had symptoms consistent with those of over 200 similar cases affecting teens and adults in at least 25 states. The first death attributed to vaping was announced last month in Illinois.
In Oregon, lawmakers earlier this year approved a new tax on e-cigarettes but it needs approval from voters in 2020.