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Flavor Ban Ordinance 878

Answers to frequently asked questions about the ordinance prohibiting the sale or advertisement of flavored tobacco or nicotine product.

Update: May 1, 2024

The Oregon Court of Appeals unanimously ruled in favor of Ordinance 878. The case is now being sent back to Washington County Circuit Court for further proceedings consistent with today’s opinion. Read our statement.

Ordinance 878 Overview

The ordinance, which was approved by Washington County voters, prohibits retailers in Washington County from selling any flavored tobacco or flavored synthetic nicotine product. The ordinance also prohibits price promotions, coupons and discounts for all tobacco and synthetic nicotine products.

If you have questions about the ordinance that are not answered below, please email [email protected].

How will Ordinance 878 work?

Ordinance 878 as enacted by the Washington County Board of Commissioners will:

A. Prohibit the sale of any tobacco product, synthetic nicotine product or inhalant delivery system to any person under 21. This restriction will also apply to inhalant delivery systems sold by licensed marijuana retail shops. However, the county has clarified that this restriction would not apply to marijuana cartridges sold at licensed marijuana retail shops, as those products are regulated by state law.

B. Prohibit the sale of any flavored tobacco or flavored synthetic nicotine product. Read the definition of a flavored product in Ordinance 878.

C. Prohibit any coupon or price promotion for any tobacco product, synthetic nicotine product or inhalant delivery system.

D. Prohibit the sale of any package of cigarettes containing fewer than 20 cigarettes.

E. Prohibit self-serve vending of any cigarette, tobacco product, synthetic nicotine product or inhalant delivery system.

F. Prohibit moveable places of business that sell any tobacco product, synthetic nicotine product or inhalant delivery system, such as a kiosk or motor vehicle.

Will Washington County provide a list of products that are prohibited by the ordinance?

No. Products change frequently. Retailers should work with their distributors and legal teams to determine which products can and cannot be sold.

What type of infraction will a violation be under Washington County Ordinance 878?

A violation under Ordinance 878 would be a civil infraction with a presumptive fine of $435, and a maximum fine per violation of $2,000 for individuals and $4,000 for corporations. Each day in violation would be considered a separate violation under the ordinance.

Who does the ordinance apply to?

The ordinance applies to all businesses that sell tobacco, synthetic nicotine and/or vape products in Washington County, Oregon.

How will the ordinance be enforced?

Ordinance 878 is a complaint-driven law. That means that enforcement activities only take place as a result of a complaint from a member of the public, including employees of the business.

Note: All reports of violations regarding Ordinance 878 are a matter of public record and confidentiality is not guaranteed.

Complaints must indicate a violation of the Ordinance. Vague language that lacks specific detail of potential violations might not be investigated.

Questions about tobacco retail licensing

What is tobacco retail licensing?

During the 2021 Legislative Session, Oregon passed statewide tobacco retail licensing. This means that all businesses that sell tobacco, nicotine products and inhalant delivery systems will be required to obtain a license to sell the product to consumers. This is similar to what is already required of businesses that sell alcohol or marijuana.

How do I get a tobacco retail license?

Retailers can visit the Oregon Department of Revenue cigarette and tobacco products licensing website. 

Have a question not answered here? 

Email us at [email protected].