Health Groups Launch Ad Campaign Highlighting Benefits of Increase in Oregon Cigarette Tax

60-cent Increase Would Reduce Smoking, Save Lives, and Raise New Revenue for Tobacco Prevention

Apr. 21 2009

Salem, Oregon — A coalition of public health organizations has launched a newspaper advertising campaign highlighting the benefits of a 60-cent increase in Oregon’s cigarette tax, which would reduce smoking, save lives and generate much-needed revenue for critical tobacco prevention and cessation programs.

The newspaper ad, which began this week in papers across the state and will run for two weeks, states, “One in 3 kids who get hooked on tobacco will die prematurely from it. And with 4,500 Oregon kids becoming smokers every year, the numbers add up fast. But we can do something about it.” The advertisement further states, “Increasing our tobacco tax 60 cents and investing that new revenue in tobacco prevention will keep thousands of Oregon kids from smoking. And that's worth a lot more than 60 cents."

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Oregon can expect a 60-cent increase in the state cigarette tax to:

  • Generate more than $51 million in new revenue to help fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
  • Prevent more than 17,600 Oregon kids from becoming smokers.
  • Produce more than $396.4 million in long-term health care savings.
  • Save more than 8,000 Oregon residents from premature, smoking-caused deaths.
  • Spur more than 9,300 current adult smokers to quit for good.

The ad campaign is funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in coordination with the American Lung Association in Oregon, American Heart Association, Northwest Health Foundation, Upstream Public Health and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

To view the ad visit http://tobaccofreekids.org/campaign/oregon/SaveOregonKids.pdf

“Increasing the cigarette tax to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs will deliver significant health and economic benefits that Oregon residents need and deserve,” said Mathew L. Myers, President of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “Studies show that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces youth smoking by 7 percent and overall cigarette consumption by 4 percent. Increasing the cigarette tax will save thousands of lives because for every three kids we prevent from becoming regular smokers, a life is saved.”

Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death in Oregon. Each year, tobacco claims 4,900 lives and costs the state $1.1 billion in health care bills, including $287 million in Medicaid payments alone. Currently, 16.9 percent of Oregon adults smoke. Government expenditures related to tobacco amount to a hidden tax of $576 every year on every Oregon household. More than 15 percent of Oregon high school students smoke and 4,500 more kids become smokers every year.

 

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