Oregon voters have approved a ballot measure to increase the tobacco tax and tax nicotine vaping products just like traditional cigarettes.
Supporters said Measure 108 would reduce youth vaping and the increased revenue would help fund health care for low-income families.
It passed with more than 66% of the vote.
The proposal will add $2 to the cigarette tax, sending the cost to $3.33 a pack.
Vaping products would be taxed at 65% of their wholesale cost.
“We are proud to be part of this extraordinary effort to protect health care for the 1 in 4 Oregonians who rely on the Oregon Health Plan for coverage and save lives through vaping and tobacco reduction and prevention,” said Lisa Vance, Chief Executive for Providence Health & Services-Oregon.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) was one of the leading health care organizations working as part of the Yes on 108 campaign.
“This is a great victory for public health and tobacco control efforts in Oregon that will save thousands of lives and reduce the devastating toll of tobacco use on our families and communities,” said Jamie Dunphy, Oregon government relations director for ACS CAN. “Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, but with this vote, Oregonians have taken a critical step forward.
St. Charles Health System was among the supporters of the measure.
According to the Oregon Voters’ Pamphlet, 90% of the funds raised from the tax would support the Oregon Health Plan and other medical assistance programs; 10% would fund tobacco cessation and prevention programs.
Measure 108 was referred to the ballot by the 2019 legislature.