American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Commits $50,000 to Ballot Campaign to Fight Big Tobacco and Curb Youth E-cigarette Epidemic  

Oregonians to Vote on Lifesaving $2 Cigarette Tax Increase on November Ballot

February 12, 2020

PORTLAND, Ore.—The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, has committed $50,000 to Oregonians for a Smoke Free Tomorrow and the ballot campaign to increase the price of cigarettes and other tobacco products including e-cigarettes. With 8,000 cancer advocates across the state, ACS CAN is committed to investing in the campaign to beat Big Tobacco, reduce tobacco use and combat the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use to save lives.  

This November, Oregonians will vote on a $2 per pack cigarette tax with an equal tax increase on all tobacco products including e-cigarettes. Revenue will fund vital health care and tobacco control programs. Oregon’s current cigarette tax is 32nd in the nation and below the national average.

“Increasing the price of tobacco products is the most effective way to encourage people who currently smoke to quit and prevent people from starting,” said Christopher Friend, Oregon government relations director for ACS CAN. “In fact, our projections show that raising the price of cigarettes by $2 per pack will help more than 31,000 people quit smoking and keep 19,000 kids from starting altogether.” 

Raising the price of all tobacco products will help address the youth e-cigarette epidemic. New data released by the Food and Drug Administration shows the youth use of e-cigarettes in high school skyrocketed, with a 135% increase over the past two years. In Oregon, youth e-cigarette use increased by nearly 80% between 2017 and 2019, according to the Oregon Healthy Youth Survey.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death and disease. This year, smoking will claim the lives of nearly 5,500 adult Oregonians and cost the state more than $1.5 billion in annual health care costs. 

“The fact is, one third of all cancer deaths are attributed to tobacco use,” said Friend. “If we want to reduce cancer rates, discourage people from smoking and using other tobacco products and combat the youth e-cigarette crisis, we need to restore Oregon’s leadership in tobacco control. That’s why ACS CAN is prepared to invest in this campaign, and we urge Oregonians to stand up to Big Tobacco by voting ‘yes’ in November to help protect our kids and our communities.”

If passed by voters, a $2 per pack cigarette tax would raise $340 million in new state revenue in the next biennium to fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs in the state, while also reducing Oregon’s long-term health care expenditures by roughly $1.02 billion. 

To join our efforts with the Oregonians for a Smoke Free Tomorrow, visit or the campaign website at

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit

About Oregonians for a Smoke Free Tomorrow
An Oregon coalition organized by a diverse group of patient advocates, anti-smoking activists, nurses, doctors, health care providers, and unions who have banded together to introduce a measure on the November 2020 ballot to raise the price of cigarettes, e-cigarettes and all other tobacco products in Oregon. For more information, visit 


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