cigarettes

Bipartisan Senate Votes to Raise Tobacco Age to 21

Two Republicans joined all 17 Senate Democrats to make it illegal to sell tobacco to people under 21, creating a uniform standard for adult substances such as alcohol and marijuana. The bill hit a few obstacles in the Senate, but an easier passage is likely in the House, where seven Republicans have co-sponsored the measure.

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.

Senate Wants Tobacco Licensing While House Goes for E-Cig Tax

Some tobacco vendors, including the Northwest Grocery Association, have pledged support for statewide licensing to avoid a patchwork of local ordinances, but licensing advocates are insisting on local control. Meanwhile, the House is debating a 50 percent retail tax on e-cigarettes and supplies.

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.

House Kills Steiner Hayward’s Smoke Shop Certification Bill

Rep. Brent Barton led six moderate Democrats to join with Republicans to support the cigar lobby, helping them to avoid paying any fees to the state for their certification, and perpetuating an unseemly state policy that steals money from the tobacco prevention fund and uses it to promote tobacco smoking by allowing the shops to bypass the indoor clean air act.

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.

Although Smoking Has Declined, Its Consequences Continue, Study Finds

According to a study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, almost half of the 346,000 deaths from 12 different types of cancers in individuals 35 years of age or older in 2011 were attributable to smoking cigarettes.

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.

More Than a Bad Habit

Nicotine dependence should be treated as a chronic condition, according to the authors, and requires ongoing medical and behavioral treatment.

OPINION -- Tobacco use related illness is the single greatest cause of preventable disease and death, taking a huge toll in lives and dollars.

Tobacco Lobby Wins Last-Minute Delay on Bill Banning Flavored Products

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The Senate Health Committee stripped a ban on flavored e-cigarettes from Senate Bill 415, and an 11th hour appeal from tobacco lobbyists about the potential loss of revenue from a ban on candy-flavored snuff and little cigars compelled the committee to move the bill to the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee for further analysis.

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.

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