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The measure would add $2 to a pack of cigarettes in Oregon, which has the lowest cigarette taxes on the West Coast. It would also tax vaping products.
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.
The renewed push to require tobacco and nicotine sales to have a state retail license got off to a shaky start this week, with the hard-fought bipartisan compromise achieved in previous sessions replaced by a renewed political divide between the business community and state and county public heal
David Hopkins of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is “optimistic” that California’s tobacco tax on the November ballot will be successful because the last attempt, in 2012, only narrowly failed. California’s tobacco tax now is just half the national average.
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.
“We’re grateful for these resources but it’s still a quarter of what the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] recommends for tobacco prevention,” said Luci Longoria, health promotion manager for the Oregon Health Authority’s Public Health Division.
Oregon’s Tobacco Reduction Advisory Committee started combing through a draft $19.7 million 2015-2017 budget, one that looks similar to the $19.8 million 2013-2015 budget with a few changes.
For the first time, Oregon will use all of its $158 million biennial tobacco master settlement for healthcare-related expenses, and not divert the money to pay for other projects.