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Bates v. Oregon Health Authority

Case Status

Date Filed

December 11, 2018

Last Step

Case abated pending outcome of Oregon’s proposed vaping ban.

Next Step

TBD depending on outcome of proposed vaping ban.

Case Overview

Every business has a right to provide customers with accurate information about the products the business is legally allowed to sell. Freedom of speech doesn’t just help businesses succeed, though—it also ensures that customers get the information that they need to make wise choices. That’s certainly the case with regard to products that can benefit their health, including e-cigarettes or “vaping” devices that are helping countless people to quit smoking. Yet Oregon is now censoring truthful information about these legal products by prohibiting retailers from putting pictures of apples, strawberries, and oranges—or even those very words—on their product labels. This censorship harms Oregon consumers and violates the constitutional rights of responsible entrepreneurs.

Case Logistics

The plaintiffs in this case is are Paul Bates and his business, Division Vapor, in Portland, Oregon.

The defendants are the Oregon Health Authority and its Director, serving in his official capacity.

Division Vapor seeks a declaration that it is unconstitutional to require vape shops to censor labels that accurately describe vaping liquids and prevent vape shops from displaying those products in a way that is attractive to adult customers.

The case was filed in Oregon State Circuit Court, in Portland, on December 11, 2018.

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