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Oregon’s voter-approved cigarette tax hike, new e-cigarette tax begin Friday

Smoking cigarette
KTVZ file
vaping

(Adding Oregon Dept. of Revenue details)

American Cancer Society says higher taxes cut tobacco use

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Beginning Friday, Jan. 1, Oregon's tax on cigarettes will increase by $2 per pack and e-cigarettes will be taxed for the first time in Oregon, after voters overwhelmingly approved Measure 108 last month, supporters said Monday.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) was one of the leading health organizations working as part of the Yes on 108 campaign to pass Measure 108, which won 2-to-1 voter approval.

Oregon’s cigarette tax will now be $3.33 per pack, the sixth-highest in the nation and the highest on the West Coast.

"Significantly raising the price of all tobacco products is proven to reduce use, and this new cigarette tax is projected to save nearly 12,000 Oregon lives and keep nearly 19,000 kids and young adults from starting to smoke," the cancer-fighting organization said in its news release, which continues in full below:  

“This is the most significant cigarette tax increase in Oregon history that will reduce smoking rates. And by finally taxing e-cigarettes, we can fight the epidemic of youth e-cigarette use and take a critical step forward to protect young people from being targeted by the tobacco industry into a lifetime addiction,” said Jamie Dunphy, Oregon government relations director for ACS CAN. “This is a major victory for everyone, because we know that tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death.”

ACS CAN encourages Oregonians who want to quit using tobacco to contact the state’s Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or online at quitnow.net/Oregon. En Espanol at 1-800-1-855-DEJELO-YA or quitnow.net/Oregonsp.

In addition to saving lives, the cigarette tax increase is projected to raise nearly $135 million in annual revenue, according to projections from ACS CAN, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and Tobacconomics.

The new revenue will provide access to health care on the Oregon Health Plan at a time when health care coverage is critical, and fund the state’s tobacco prevention and cessation programs to help people quit tobacco successfully. Oregon’s tobacco control program is funded at just 25.6% of the level recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ACS CAN said.

“This new tobacco tax is a triple win: it will save lives, fund lifesaving health care programs and reduce health care costs for everyone,” Dunphy continued. Smoking currently costs the state $1.54 billion in annual health care costs including $347.6 million in Medicaid costs. Each Oregon household pays $736 in taxes to offset these smoking-related costs.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden.

As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.


News release:

Cigarette, other tobacco taxes increase January
Oregon Dept. of Revenue - 12/29/20 9:44 AM

Salem, OR—A series of increases in the taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products and a new tax on inhalant delivery products, approved by Oregon voters in November, will go into effect January 1, 2021.

As a result of the passage of Measure 108, consumers will see the following:
• The cigarette tax will increase by $2 per pack of 20 and $2.50 per pack of 25.
• Little cigars, collectively weighing 3 pounds or less per 1,000, must be sold in sealed packages of at least 20. The packs will be taxed as cigarettes and will require an Oregon cigarette tax stamp.
• Inhalant delivery systems, such as vaping and e-cigarette products, will be taxed at a rate of 65% of the wholesale purchase price.
• The cap on the tax on cigars increases from 50 cents to $1.
Revenue produced by the tax changes will be used by the Oregon Health Authority to fund health care coverage for low-income families, including mental health services, and public health programs, including programs addressing tobacco- and nicotine-related disease.

More information about changes to tobacco taxes can be found in the answers to a list of frequently asked asked questions on the Department of Revenue website.

To stay updated on Oregon cigarette and tobacco tax law changes, interested parties can subscribe to email updates. Those with questions can call 503-945-8120 or email spa.help@oregon.gov.

To get tax forms, check the status of your refund, or make tax payments, visit www.oregon.gov/dor or email questions.dor@oregon.gov. You also can call 800-356-4222 toll-free from an Oregon prefix (English or Spanish) or 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon. For TTY (hearing- or speech-impaired), we accept all relay calls.

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Comments

42 Comments

      1. I’d rather be him than you. Doesn’t suk to not be you! Like Gramps used to say, ,”if you can’t say anything nice, keep your damn opinion to yourself”.

  1. ” Significantly raising the price of all tobacco products is proven to reduce use, and this new cigarette tax is projected to save nearly 12,000 Oregon lives and keep nearly 19,000 kids and young adults from starting to smoke,” the cancer-fighting organization said in its news release, which continues in full below: ”

    That’s a load of crap… They have been using the same excuse every time they raise
    taxes on cigarettes. There is no way that they know for certain that this ridiculous
    tax increase will save 12,000 lives, or stop 19,000 kids from smoking, but they use
    kids as an example because it stirs up emotions, which means that more people will
    likely support the increase…

    Irregardless of what their numbers say, the reality is, a large portion of this money will be wasted on administration, and only a small amount will actually be spent on anything that
    is actually productive…
    This increase also isn’t going to make a lot of people quit smoking. They have been claiming for years that if they get to raise taxes on cigarettes, people will stop smoking.
    There will be some people that do quit, but I started smoking in 1976 and cigarettes were about 65 cents a pack, and people said that if they ever got to $1.00 a pack, they were quitting. Well, after numerous tax increases over the years, people are still smoking,
    and they will continue to smoke…

      1. Just outlaw cigs if you really care about my health. Raising taxes on people with the horrible addiction 😜 to nicotine is just adding to their addiction pain. If you think it is so easy to quit it just shows that you know nothing about addiction. You should keep your asinine opinion to yourself.

        1. Actually I’m probably as knowledgable about addiction as you are. And , based on your rant, I’m apparently more knowledgable about the methods to overcome it. Do I care about your health? To the extent that you become a burden on society because of it, yes. I just hope that the taxes will offset that financial burden that the rest of us pay for your poor choices.

          1. Smoking isn’t the smartest thing a person can do, but it’s up to the individual,
            and last I heard we still have the freedom in this country to make our own decisions. I could care less what it costs the taxpayers, and why should I ?
            The illegals in our country don’t care how much their medical care costs, because they have no intentions of paying for it. They are more concerned about driving
            nice, very expensive Escalades, Suburbans and BMW’s…

            I will start caring about what medical care costs when our Government stops wasting tens of billions of dollars every year on the millions of illegals that are hiding in our country, and being protected by our Government, and when we stop donating billions of dollars every year to third world countries that will never be paid back…

    1. Kids or children – on of the buzz words that if you can get attached to something will most likely get it passed, good or bad.

      “Significantly raising the price of all tobacco products is proven to reduce use,” – easy to say about”other people in other places” btu does anyone actually know of anybody who is or has quit because of the price? not just say but have done it…

    2. Oregon heath plan for smokers is like the tax payers paying for Auto Insurance for bad drivers.

      So, if most smokers are low income they probably are on the Oregon health plan. I as a taxpayer think smokers, should not be covered under the health plan that we all pay for.

      Unfortunately I am sure some low income children will pay the price for this tax by not having food on their plates because the cigarettes where more important than an extra loaf of bread.

      Smoking should be an automatic disqualifier for the Oregon health plan. I have zero issues covering the kids tho.

  2. Can’t believe we voted this tax in. The majority of smokers are low income. Does it make sense to make then pay more in tax? Do we really think it will make them stop smoking, I think not. This segment of our society is already broke. This will only cost tax payers including non smokers more money in the long run with no change in behavior.

    1. Please explain (using facts, of course) just how this tax will cost non-smokers more money in the long run. If anything, I think I would see my health insurance premiums going down.

      1. The only fact I can provide is based off paying taxes for many, many, many years. I have yet to see a tax to any extent lower cost of any type to anybody. Taxing poor people more creates a larger wealth gap creating more need for social programs that create more tax burden for all. Do higher gas taxes make people drive less? Do higher booze taxes make people drink less. Unfortunately the answer is no regardless of the bill of goods the tax man is selling. This is no different, insurance will not go down because of this new tax, IMO.

        1. I respectfully disagree with you. If it costs more to do an activity (drive, drink, smoke, etc.)and you have a fixed income you have to make hard choices as to where the money goes, and driving, drinking, smoking are for the most part discretionary activities. Choices, choices, choices.

  3. Here it comes…

    Kate & Crew’s tax campaign for 2021…

    It’ll get worse and quickly…

    And more Oregonians will either be forced or will choose to relocate to those states that properly manage their spending…

    No surprises here…

      1. It would be awesome to see folks quit smoking due to higher cost.
        Call me cynical, but I don’t have faith that putting more economic burden on this segment of out population will equal the results this “pipe dream” tax is supposed to do. This is simply a higher tax on the poor, but at least it makes most liberal minded people feel good. Like they are helping.

      1. True – however what segment is next when the expected tax revenue doesn’t come in as desired? or what other segment would you like to punish with higher taxes?

  4. They know that nicotine is harder to stop than anything, they claim they are saving so many when in fact its just about getting money to feed their greed. Otherwise they would tax alcohol beyond belief if they really were about saving lives. Not to mention cheap empty carb food and fatty foods.

  5. I don’t hear much complaining about the 18% state and local sales taxes on cannabis.
    Take the taxes off of tobacco, alcohol and cannabis, then try to fund the state without those sin taxes.
    Sinners help keep the government funded.
    You’re welcome.

    1. Thank you, preacher woman! It is well known that taxes are a Satanic conspiracy to get people to do bad things (like smoke the Devil’s lettuce) in order to fund the guvmunt and keep the High Priestess Lucifer Brown in power. No sin = no taxes = anarchy!

  6. Ok, so if most smokers are low income they probably are on the Oregon health plan. I as a taxpayer think smokers poor choices should not be covered under the health plan that we all pay for. Unfortunately I am sure some low income children will pay the price for this tax by not having food on their plates because the cigarettes where more important than an extra loaf of bread.
    Smoking should be an automatic disqualifier for the Oregon health plan. I have zero issues covering the kids tho.

    1. But legalizing drugs is okay? You so freely judge others you do not know and have never met. When is the last time you looked in the mirror. Or was this just a comment you made without thinking in order to fit into the narrative? Did you post it on all your social media sites for “likes”? God help us all if you ever run for office.

  7. It’s always been a matter of the government telling us how to live under the auspice of “saving lives”. Don’t do this and don’t do that and we need to step in to save lives. Fear tactics only work for lemmings. It’s really about the money, not concern for lives, and if you follow the money you will see that. Make the smoker’s pay…they have no choice…but while we’re at it…let’s legalize drugs.

    The jokes on them because when they planned this scamdemic to trap us all like lemmings in cages, they didn’t plan on this:

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/fact-check-are-smokers-at-less-risk-for-contracting-the-coronavirus/ar-BB13y09T
    https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200430/smokers-hospitalized-less-often-for-covid-19

    Saving lives my a$$

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