SALEM, Ore. — A measure intended to hike taxes on tobacco products and put taxes in place on vaping products has passed.
Measure 108 increase taxes on tobacco products and "inhalant delivery systems," namely e-cigarettes, and puts the money toward health programs under the Oregon Health Authority umbrella.
The measure increases tobacco taxes at the following rates:
- Cigarette tax at 16.65 cents per cigarette, which is an increase from $1.33 to $3.33 per 20-pack of cigarettes;
- E-cigarettes and other nicotine inhalants at a rate of 65% of the wholesale sales price; and
- Cigar tax cap of 65% of the wholesale sales price, not to exceed $1.00 per cigar, an increase from $0.50.
With over 67 percent of precincts reporting, almost 67 percent of voters favored the measure, with just over 33 percent against.
“This is a great victory for public health and tobacco control efforts in Oregon that will save thousands of lives and reduce the devastating toll of tobacco use on our families and communities. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, but with this vote, Oregonians have taken a critical step forward," said Jamie Dunphy, Oregon government relations director for the American Cancer Society's Cancer Action Network.
“By finally taxing e-cigarettes in Oregon, we can protect young people from being targeted into a lifetime addiction by the tobacco industry," Dunphy continued. "This intervention is critical as research shows youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking cigarettes, and youth use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed."