Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States and in Oregon. To address this enormous toll, the American Lung Association calls for the following actions to be taken by Oregon's elected officials:
- Increasing funding for Oregon's Tobacco Prevention and Education program;
- Defending Oregon's Indoor Clean Air Act; and
- Increasing tobacco taxes by a significant amount.
Several bills were introduced during the 2018 legislative session that would have weakened Oregon's Indoor Clean Air Act, and many of these were targeted and designed to allow the public use of marijuana. House Bill 4110 would have allowed sampling at newly licensed marijuana fairs. This legislation thankfully didn't receive a hearing. The City of Portland has established an office to explore opportunities to expand opportunities for marijuana use. The American Lung Association in Oregon expects to see continued attacks on clean indoor air laws related to allowing marijuana use indoors during the 2019 legislative session.
Oregon's Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP) received a one-time funding allocation of $3 million from a budget reconciliation in fiscal year 2019 bringing total funding for the program to a little over $10 million. This is an increase from $8.15 million in fiscal year 2018. This will allow the program to enhance technical assistance contracts and expand evaluation support and communications.
The American Lung Association in Oregon will continue to work with partners and the main state tobacco coalition, Oregon Partners for Tobacco Prevention to support policies to prevent and reduce tobacco use. This includes pushing for a significant increase in Oregon's tobacco taxes, which remain significantly lower than most of its neighboring states