Gov. Brown Assembles Vaping Task Force

On Monday, Governor Kate Brown announced the membership of the Vaping Public Health Work Group, assembled by EO 19-09 , to address the epidemic of vaping-related illness and youth vaping in Oregon. The work group will meet on January 28 in the State Capitol.  

Its membership includes state legislators, state agency representatives, pulmonologists, pediatricians, and public health experts. They will meet to discuss the health risks of vaping and make public policy recommendations for long-term solutions to address the vaping epidemic.  

Among the health experts on the panel is Dr. Brian Druker of the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, a pioneer in the field of precision medicine whose research has helped to revolutionize cancer treatment. Dr. Mary McKenzie, the Director of Pulmonology at Legacy Health, will also bring her direct experience working with patients with vaping-related lung injuries to the work group.  

“I am confident that this group of talented health care leaders will bring forward innovative ideas to help keep Oregonians safe from the risks of vaping-related illnesses. I would like to thank Oregon’s health care community and state and local health agencies for their efforts to respond to the vaping public health crisis of the late summer and fall,” said Governor Brown. “While the number of new vaping-related illness cases has tapered since states acted to restrict certain vaping products and additives, we have been left to grapple with the sobering reality that youth use of vaping products has skyrocketed in recent years.  

“The simple truth is, after years of lax federal regulation, we have no way to ensure the safety of many vaping products on the market. This summer’s vaping crisis was a nationwide wake-up call that we need to do more to ensure our children’s health and safety. I look forward to seeing the results of these experts’ collaboration.”  

According to the Oregon Health Authority, youth e-cigarette use jumped 80 percent between 2017 and 2019.  

The membership of the Vaping Public Health Work Group includes:  

  • Senator Floyd Prozanski
  • Senator Bill Hansell
  • Representative Ron Noble
  • Representative Sheri Schouten
  • Lillian Shirley, Public Health Director, Oregon Health Authority
  • Steve Marks, Executive Director, Oregon Liquor Control

Commission (OLCC)  

  • Lou Savage, Acting Director, Department of Consumer &

Business Services (DCBS)  

  • Nia Ray, Director, Oregon Department of Revenue (DOR)
  • Alexis Taylor, Director, Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA)
  • Dean Sidelinger, MD, MSEd, FAAP, State Public Health Officer &

State Epidemiologist  

  • Mary McKenzie, MD, Director of Pulmonology, Legacy Health
  • Brian Druker, MD, Director, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute
  • Serena Black, MD, Pediatric Hospitalist, PeaceHealth
  • Peter Reed, MD, MPH, FAAP, Pediatrician
  • David Lehrfeld, MD, Emergency Medicine
  • Susan Pinnock, RN, Public Health Nurse, Washington County
  • Christopher Friend, American Cancer Society
  • Christina Bodamer, American Heart Association
  • Michael Collins, Director of Managed Care, Confederated Tribes

of Warm Springs  

  • Rob Bovett, Association of Oregon Counties
  • Rodger Voelker, PhD, Senior Analytical Chemist, Cascade

Chemistry  

  • Jim Ferraris, Chief of Police, Woodburn
  • Mike Getlin, Oregon Industry Progress Association