Oregon Voters Approve $2 Tobacco Tax… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Oregon Voters Approve $2 Tobacco Tax Increase in Big Win for Kids and Health

Statement of Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
November 04, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon voters on Tuesday delivered a resounding victory for kids and health over the tobacco industry by approving a $2-per-pack tobacco tax increase, equaling the single largest tobacco tax hike ever approved by any state. The overwhelming vote affirms that raising the tobacco tax is a win-win-win solution for states – a health win that will reduce smoking and save lives, a financial win that raises much-needed revenue for health care and other initiatives, and a political win that is highly popular with voters.

The evidence is clear that significant tobacco tax increases are one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking, especially among kids. Oregon Measure 108 – which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2021 – also taxes e-cigarettes for the first time in the state, an important step to help reverse high rates of youth e-cigarette use. The measure will fund critical health care programs, including the Oregon Health Plan (the state’s Medicaid program) and tribal and community programs to prevent kids from using tobacco products, help tobacco users quit and address tobacco-related health disparities.

The $2-per-pack tobacco tax increase is projected to:

  • Prevent more than 15,000 Oregon kids from becoming smokers
  • Spur over 29,000 current adult smokers to quit
  • Save nearly 12,000 Oregonians from premature, smoking-caused deaths
  • Save over $920 million in future health care costs.

This initiative will improve the health of Oregonians for generations to come and sets a terrific example for other states.