A bipartisan group of senators voted 19-8 on Thursday to raise the tobacco age to 21, matching the age of purchase and sale for alcohol and marijuana in Oregon.
Sen. Laurie Monnes Anderson, D-Gresham, and Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-Portland, appear determined to push through a state law requiring a license to sell tobacco and e-cigarettes to the public, but they face opposition from unlikely quarters.
In a surprise move, the Gladstone Democrat, Rep. Brent Barton, led the House to defeat physician-Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward’s push to get smoke shops to pay for their own certification that allows people to puff secondhand smoke in their shops despite Oregon’s Indoor Clean Air Act.
Smoking has long been associated with increased risks of cancer, but a research team has now estimated the number of deaths from a wide variety of cancers that are linked to cigarette use.
OPINION -- Tobacco use related illness is the single greatest cause of preventable disease and death, taking a huge toll in lives and dollars.
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Lobbyists from the tobacco industry managed to gum up the passage of a bill that would ban Oregon sales of their flavored tobacco products, many of which have been shown to be appetizing to teenagers, perhaps deliberately.