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Oregon receives Mixed Grades in Policies to Reduce Tobacco Use and Save Lives, Finds New American Lung Association Report

(January 24, 2018) - Portland | Oregon

2018 ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report finds Oregon lawmakers can do more to reduce tobacco use

The American Lung Association’s 2018 “State of Tobacco Control” shows Oregon earned mixed grades on its tobacco policies. The 16th annual report grades states and the federal government on policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use. The report finds Oregon has taken significant steps to reduce tobacco use, and law makers can do more to reduce tobacco use and save lives.

“Nationwide, smoking rates have continued to decline to historically low levels, yet tobacco use remains the nation’s leading cause of preventable death and disease killing over 480,000 Americans each year,” said American Lung Association Executive Director in Oregon, Cathy Gidley. “Tobacco use is a serious addiction. We have seen significant declines in tobacco use in the general population; yet there are certain populations where smoking remains prevalent and persistent, such as in our lower income households. More needs to be done to eliminate these tobacco-related disparities in our state.”

This year’s “State of Tobacco Control” identifies opportunities for our lawmakers to adopt policies to reduce tobacco use and safe lives. The report gives Oregon the following grades:

F      Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs

A      Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws

F      Level of State Tobacco Taxes

C      Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco

A      Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21

As a result of decades of targeted marketing by the tobacco industry, too many Americans haven’t seen the benefits of reduced smoking rates, and Oregon and the federal government could do more to ensure all Americans benefit from tobacco control efforts. According to the American Lung Association:

  • If Oregon would increase funding for tobacco control programs, they would have a powerful opportunity to target these programs to communities that still use tobacco at higher rates and who have been targeted by the tobacco industry. Oregon receives $353 million from tobacco settlement payments and tobacco taxes, and should use more of these funds to help prevent tobacco use and help smokers quit.
  • Increasing tobacco taxes is one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, not only among low-income individuals but also for youth. To protect kids from a lifetime of nicotine addiction, the Lung Association in Oregon encourages lawmakers to increase tobacco taxes and ensure the increase will have a meaningful public health benefit.

“We know how to reduce tobacco use in Oregon and the nation. ‘State of Tobacco Control’ looks at proven methods to save lives and protect the health of all Americans,” said Gidley. “Oregon elected officials must act to implement these proven policies, which will prevent tobacco-caused death and disease, and help keep our lungs healthy.”

For media interested in speaking with an expert about the “State of Tobacco Control” report, lung health, tobacco use and tobacco control policies, contact Cathy Gidley at the American Lung Association at [email protected] or (503) 718-6150.or (503) 718-6140.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy.  The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases.  For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Guide Seal, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

American Lung Association • 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150 • Chicago, IL 60601
1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872)

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