"Got a light?"
"Depends. You got a prescription for that cigarette?"
A new bill proposed in the Oregon legislature would make cigarettes and other tobacco products available only to those who obtain a prescription.
Portland Rep. Mitch Greenlick sponsored the bill
that would make tobacco products Schedule III controlled substances, meaning it would be illegal to possess or distribute cigarettes without written permission from a doctor.
Based on the law's legal classification, users who are caught lighting up would face maximum penalties of one year in prison or a $6,250, according to one local news site. It puts the drug in the same class as hydrocodone, codeine, anabolic steroids, testosterone, ketamine, and some depressants. Possession would be a Class A misdemeanor, under Oregon law.
The measure has already found supporters.
"I hope it passes and I hope people actually think about it," Rick Cannon of Salem told Fox 12 Oregon. "You know there's less and less smokers everyday because they know how bad it is for them, so I just hope people wake up and realize how bad it actually is for them."
The bill gives the Oregon pharmaceutical board the power to regulate tobacco products, including devices in which tobacco (or marijuana) can be burned. This includes "electric pipes, air driven pipes, corncob pipes, meerschaum pipes and ceramic pipes, with or without screens, permanent screens, hashish heads or punctured metal bowls; Carburetion tubes and devices, including carburetion masks; Bongs; Chillums; Ice pipes or chillers; Cigarette rolling papers and rolling machines; and Cocaine free basing kits," the bill reads.
The bill also aims to further tobacco awareness education.
"The department shall establish and administer a program employing retired state police officers who are active reserve officers for the purpose of enforcing laws designed to discourage the use of tobacco products by persons under 18 years of age," the bill reads.
As the sale of electronic cigarettes continues to rise, the prescription model could be one adopted by other states. Because E-cigarettes simply use water vapor, their use has become more and more widespread — there's no secondhand smoke. Measures to control the new method of ingestion have been scant.
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