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Advocates Push for $2 Increase in Oregon's Tobacco Tax

Oregon hasn't raised its tobacco tax significantly since 2002. The proposed increase would raise the tax to $3.33 per pack.

Posted: Feb 18, 2019 2:17 PM

SALEM, Ore. -- Cancer patients, survivors and others urged lawmakers Monday to increase taxes on cigarettes and tobacco products in an effort to fight cancer.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network held its annual Cancer Action Day at the Capitol to give people a voice with lawmakers and an opportunity to push for policy change.

Advocates pushed for a $2 tobacco tax increase to raise the price of cigarettes and all other tobacco products, including electronic cigarettes. The increase was included in Governor Kate Brown's 2019 budget to help fund the state's Medicaid program.

The American Cancer Society said if the tax went up by $2 per pack, more than 31,300 smokers would quit and more than 19,000 kids under the age of 18 wouldn't start. It would also decrease youth smoking rates by nearly 21 percent.

The group said tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and smoking causes nearly 28 percent of cancer deaths in Oregon. They pointed out that overall 13,700 lives would be saved from a premature death.

Oregon hasn't raised its tobacco tax significantly since 2002. Right now, it's $1.33 a pack. That's 32nd in the nation.

The group also urged lawmakers to increase funding for the state's Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening Program to provide life-saving cancer screenings for low-income and uninsured women and improve clarity around prescription drug costs, so cancer patients can afford their treatments.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 78160

Reported Deaths: 953
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah18149245
Washington10929103
Marion9634147
Clackamas672781
Lane450747
Umatilla446850
Jackson401737
Deschutes251715
Malheur245945
Yamhill179717
Linn160023
Polk133219
Douglas98119
Klamath9265
Jefferson87411
Benton8457
Union8098
Morrow6717
Lincoln66515
Josephine5785
Wasco54319
Columbia5394
Coos4533
Hood River4303
Clatsop3730
Baker2914
Crook2446
Tillamook1470
Curry1462
Lake1431
Grant1381
Harney1041
Wallowa723
Gilliam230
Sherman230
Wheeler60
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 1265182

Reported Deaths: 19410
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles4141857740
San Bernardino966571136
Riverside885301444
San Diego846381035
Orange805511578
Kern42614449
Fresno39004488
Sacramento38999586
Santa Clara35945486
Alameda30330520
San Joaquin26432510
Contra Costa24914261
Stanislaus22624430
Tulare21645312
Ventura20604185
Imperial16429356
Monterey15835123
San Francisco15797160
San Mateo14812170
Sonoma12662160
Merced12281182
Santa Barbara11631137
Kings1143489
Solano1095781
Marin7840129
Placer679471
Madera642786
San Luis Obispo634538
Shasta518750
Yolo502081
Santa Cruz463829
Butte419560
Sutter363719
Napa312418
El Dorado25814
Yuba222110
Lassen21823
San Benito196817
Tehama177326
Mendocino163223
Nevada141410
Tuolumne11049
Glenn98910
Lake97120
Humboldt9499
Colusa7476
Siskiyou7373
Amador66616
Mono5503
Calaveras54422
Del Norte3571
Inyo30816
Plumas2300
Trinity1680
Modoc1560
Mariposa1443
Alpine510
Sierra230
Unassigned00
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