Oregon joins HI, CA, NJ, & ME
This week, Governor Kate Brown signed SB 754 into law. In a surprise move, Oregon went from being poised as the 3rd state to raise the age to the 5th, behind New Jersey and Maine. Regardless, this is a huge step forward in protecting Oregon youth from the dangers of tobacco use and nicotine addiction.
We thank all the public health advocates, legislators, and additional organizations for their support. Thanks to Oregon’s strength during this legislative session, other state efforts moved forward to increase their tobacco sales age. The effective date for the law is January 1, 2018.
Similar to Maine’s new law, Oregon law will not criminalize those under the age of 21 for being in possession of tobacco products. Eliminating MIP/PUP language concentrates enforcement and compliance activities on the source of tobacco rather than the youth purchasing. This is an enforcement method that has seen success with the implementation of Tobacco Retail Licensing (TRL) and consistent compliance checks.
From a health equity standpoint, this change in statute also helps to protect minority populations. See our Enforcement Memo for more details.
Check out the article from the Oregonian to see a local perspective.