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American Lung Association 'State of Tobacco Control' Report Finds Oregon Can Do More to Prevent, Reduce Tobacco Use

Oregon earns failing grades in tobacco prevention and taxation

(January 30, 2019) - PORTLAND, Ore.

For more information please contact:

Holly Harvey
[email protected]
(206) 512-3292

Tobacco use remains Oregon's and the nation's leading cause of preventable death and disease, taking an estimated 480,000 lives every year in the U.S. This year's "State of Tobacco Control" report from the American Lung Association finds that Oregon eared failing grades on its efforts to reduce and prevent tobacco use. The American Lung Association calls on the Oregon legislature to increase tobacco taxes and adequately fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs  to save lives.

The need for Oregon to protect youth from tobacco is more urgent than ever, with youth e-cigarette use reaching epidemic levels due to a 78 percent increase in high school e-cigarette use from 2017 to 2018, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This equals one million additional kids beginning to use e-cigarettes, placing their developing bodies at risk from the chemicals in e-cigarettes, as well as a lifetime of deadly addiction.

"Tobacco use is a serious addiction and we need to invest in the proven measures to prevent and reduce tobacco use," said Carrie Nyssen, Senior Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Oregon. "The ‘State of Tobacco Control' report provides evidence-based policies that are proven to reduce tobacco use and save lives."

The 17th annual "State of Tobacco Control" report grades states and the federal government on policies proven to prevent and reduce tobacco use, and finds that Oregon earns the following grades:

  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade F
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws - Grade A
  • Level of State Tobacco Taxes - Grade F
  • Coverage and Access to Services to Quit Tobacco - Grade D
  • Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products to 21 – Grade A

The American Lung Association encourages the Oregon legislature to invest in health by adequately funding tobacco prevention and increasing tobacco taxes.  

Increasing tobacco taxes is one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, not only among low-income individuals but also for youth. Multiple studies have shown that every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes reduces consumption by about 4 percent among adults and about 7 percent among youth.

"To protect youth from a lifetime of nicotine addiction, the Lung Association in Oregon encourages Oregon legislators to increase tobacco taxes by $2 per pack. This step is critical as current tobacco use among youth is skyrocketing," said Nyssen.

For media interested in speaking with an expert about the "State of Tobacco Control" report, lung health, tobacco use and tobacco control policies, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected]or 206-512-3292.

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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 coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

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