American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network Urges Oregon Legislature to Pass $2 Tobacco Tax Increase in 2019

New Projections Show Significant Health Benefits of $2 Per Pack Cigarette Tax Increase; Tax Must Also Include Equivalent Increase on All Other Tobacco Products Including E-cigarettes

January 29, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore.—The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges Oregon lawmakers to prioritize and pass a $2 per pack cigarette tax increase with an equivalent increase on all other tobacco products including electronic cigarettes in the 2019 session. Governor Kate Brown’s 2019 budget includes this tobacco tax increase to fund the state’s Medicaid program.

"Oregon has not raised its tobacco tax significantly since 2002. Our current cigarette tax is $1.33 per pack, which ranks 32nd in the nation and isn't high enough to produce a meaningful public health benefit and reduce tobacco use," said Christopher Friend, Oregon government relations director for ACS CAN. "For a state that prides itself on being so healthy, we should not be toward the bottom of the pack."

Data from ACS CAN’s latest How Do You Measure Up? report shows Oregon has room to improve on several key tobacco control policies that fight cancer, including its cigarette tax. Increasing the price of all tobacco products with regular and significant tax increases is proven to help people quit and prevent kids from starting.

New projections from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network show the tremendous public health benefits of a $2 per pack cigarette tax increase:

  • 31,300 adults who currently smoke would quit;
  • 19,200 kids under age 18 would not become new daily smokers;
  • Youth smoking rates would decrease nearly 21 percent;
  • 13,700 lives would be saved from a premature smoking-related death.

Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death and disease and each year, 5,500 Oregonians die from smoking. Nearly 28 percent of all cancer deaths in Oregon are caused by smoking.

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




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