The Oregon Legislature is hearing a Bill 2270 that will place a $2 a pack tax on cigarettes, much of the bill also calls for an equivalent tax on other forms of tobacco, like dip and e-cigarettes. The bill will go to support the Oregon Health Authority Programs, which was expecting a $830 million dollar shortfall this year.
The last time Oregon raised it’s tobacco taxes was in 2002, when it was raised $1.33 a pack. The American Cancer Society says that increased taxes on cigarettes forces some people to quit and others to drastically reduce their intake of tobacco, a spokesman for the society said he estimates 31k Oregon smokers would quit because of the tax increase. It is also estimated that more than 10k new smokers would not start smoking because of the tax and the outrageous cost of smoking. The American Cancer Society estimated that more than 13k Oregon lives would be saved by implementing this tax overall.
Increases in tax revenue, such as from the marijuana sales tax have not made their way down to the everyday person. Seeing this tax implemented is just another way for them to get money for projects. According to polls, raising taxes on cigarettes may not be the answer, many people feel they are over taxed already, and that the state does not do a very good job of accounting for the money it already spends.
In Oregon you also have to be 21 years of age to smoke. August 2017, the state enacted it’s law and became the fifth state in the U.S. to make the smoking age 21.
Written by Marie