Governor Brown pushes for bill to raise tobacco taxes

House Bill 2270 would raise taxes on cigarettes and other, traditional forms of tobacco, as well as creating a tax on e-cigarette products.

Posted: Apr 10, 2019 11:15 AM
Updated: Apr 10, 2019 4:04 PM

SALEM, Ore. — Governor Kate Brown is throwing her support behind new legislation that would raise taxes on tobacco products, including the creation of taxes for e-cigarettes and other vaping devices.

According to Brown's office, money raised by the tax would be funneled toward the Oregon Health Plan (OHP), the state's Medicaid program.

"House Bill 2270 will improve health and save lives," Governor Brown told the House Revenue Committee. "Tobacco is still the No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death in Oregon. By increasing the cost of tobacco products and e-cigarettes, House Bill 2270 not only provides the funding we need to continue to provide health coverage to Oregonians, it invests in prevention and cessation to improve the health of our communities."

Taxes on cigarettes would rise by about $2 per pack under HB 2270. The bill would also, according to Brown's office, tax e-cigarettes — apparently through changes in terminology. The bill itself does not refer to e-cigarettes, but frequently mentions "inhalant delivery systems" for tobacco products.

"The U.S. Surgeon General reports that 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students use e-cigarettes," said Brown's office. To date, there has been little in the way of definitive results on the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, however, in spite of some apparent issues flagged by the FDA.

Distributors and retailers of tobacco products could also face new taxes under House Bill 2270.

The new legislation is just one part of a multi-pronged approach by Governor Brown to find "long-term sustainable funding" for OHP. Two other funding measures were signed into law last month, and the Employer Health Care Responsibility Act (House Bill 2269) — which adds a spending requirement for employers who do not contribute a minimum amount toward their employees' health care — is also under consideration by lawmakers.

If passed, Brown's office estimates that the bill would raise an additional $346 million per biennium — with 90 percent of the funds earmarked for OHP and the remaining 10 percent going toward "investments in tribes, culturally specific organizations, and state and local public health to expand cessation efforts."

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 155787

Reported Deaths: 2212
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah31892529
Washington21265212
Marion18486285
Clackamas13399175
Lane10287127
Jackson8407112
Umatilla766082
Deschutes595659
Yamhill378364
Linn359156
Malheur335158
Polk306942
Klamath279155
Douglas248554
Benton234416
Josephine234452
Jefferson196028
Coos149719
Union128419
Columbia127021
Wasco122126
Lincoln113320
Hood River106929
Morrow104914
Clatsop7756
Crook77518
Baker6597
Curry4296
Tillamook4142
Lake3766
Harney2736
Grant2231
Wallowa1424
Gilliam531
Sherman530
Wheeler221
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3573549

Reported Deaths: 52491
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119295421467
Riverside2897733792
San Bernardino2867552940
Orange2614083921
San Diego2606253303
Santa Clara1107551781
Kern103422877
Fresno955481443
Sacramento935281484
Alameda807771242
Ventura77749852
San Joaquin668291126
Contra Costa62720681
Stanislaus56235949
Tulare48013761
Monterey42261328
San Mateo39059515
San Francisco34291422
Santa Barbara32050413
Solano30115164
Merced29147401
Sonoma28193298
Imperial26909635
Kings22082220
Placer19861232
San Luis Obispo19696235
Madera15496214
Santa Cruz14671183
Marin13231197
Yolo12851185
Shasta11017174
Butte10970163
El Dorado9160100
Napa905369
Sutter888097
Yuba577337
San Benito577261
Lassen562419
Tehama508652
Nevada397274
Tuolumne396059
Mendocino381643
Amador346641
Humboldt321033
Lake316441
Glenn223023
Colusa213613
Calaveras191049
Siskiyou176014
Inyo131337
Mono12144
Del Norte10035
Plumas6536
Modoc4564
Mariposa3957
Trinity3705
Sierra1000
Alpine820
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 58°
Brookings
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 57°
Medford
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 42° Lo: 18°
Feels Like: 58°
Medford
Partly Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 58°
Klamath Falls
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 24°
Feels Like: 52°
Sunny and warm stretch continues
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events