PORTLAND, Ore.— As ballots are mailed out today, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) urges Oregonians to vote yes on Measure 108. Measure 108 will raise the state’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack and tax e-cigarettes for the first time in Oregon.
Jamie Dunphy, Oregon government relations director for ACS CAN, released the following statement in support of Measure 108:
"Oregonians have an opportunity to save thousands of lives, protect our kids from Big Tobacco and a lifetime of addiction, and help fund critical health care programs at a time when access to care is more important than ever by passing this lifesaving Measure.
"Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, and this year, roughly 5,500 Oregonians will die from smoking. Smoking causes roughly 27% of all cancer deaths in Oregon. Unfortunately, while people continue suffering from tobacco-related illnesses, Big Tobacco is luring our youth into a lifetime addiction with e-cigarettes. Making all tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, more expensive is one of the most effective way to help adults quit and prevent youth from starting—a critical tobacco control strategy at a time when youth e-cigarette use has reached epidemic levels.
"According to the Oregon Health Authority, one in four 11th graders have used e-cigarettes and youth e-cigarette use increased nearly 80% in the past two years. Research shows that youth who use e-cigarettes are more likely to start smoking cigarettes, so we must act now to help reverse this alarming trend. We also have a below-average cigarette tax that must be raised by a significant amount to help reduce smoking rates.
"Passing Measure 108 and raising the cigarette tax by $2 per pack is projected to prevent nearly 19,000 kids and young adults from starting to smoke and save nearly 12,000 Oregon lives. It also lowers health care costs for all of us, while the revenue will fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs and access to health care for low-income Oregonians on the Oregon Health Plan.
"ACS CAN is proud to be part of the diverse coalition working to pass Measure 108 to save lives, protect kids and make Oregonians healthier. We encourage everyone to vote by November 3 and to vote yes on Measure 108."
To learn more about Measure 108 and get involved, visit www.fightcancer.org/oregon.
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 www.fightcancer.org. ACS CAN is part of a broad coalition supporting Yes for a Healthy Future committee.