Press Release: Gov. Kate Brown: House Bill 2270 Will Improve Health And Save Lives

Gov. Kate Brown Jessica Floum.jpg

Gov. Kate Brown today detailed her support for House Bill 2270, which raises the cost of tobacco products in Oregon to improve health and stabilize funding for the Oregon Health Plan.

"House Bill 2270 will improve health and save lives," Governor Brown told the House Revenue Committee. "Tobacco is still the No. 1 preventable cause of disease and death in Oregon. By increasing the cost of tobacco products and e-cigarettes, House Bill 2270 not only provides the funding we need to continue to provide health coverage to Oregonians, it invests in prevention and cessation to improve the health of our communities."

House Bill 2270 is the third part of Governor Brown's proposal to provide long-term sustainable funding for the Oregon Health Plan. Governor Brown signed the first two pieces, in House Bill 2010, last month. The fourth component, the Employer Health Care Responsibility Act (House Bill 2269), is a spending requirement on employers who do not contribute a minimum amount toward the health care costs of their employees.

In addition to raising the cigarette tax by $2 per pack, House Bill 2270 for the first time taxes e-cigarettes. The U.S. Surgeon General reports that 1 in 5 high school students and 1 in 20 middle school students use e-cigarettes.

House Bill 2270 is estimated to raise $346 million per biennium. While 90 percent of the revenue will go to the Oregon Health Plan, 10 percent will go toward investments in tribes, culturally specific organizations, and state and local public health to expand cessation efforts.

Click here to read the full testimony.

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