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Recent updates! – Tobacco 21 Progress

The effort in Oregon to raise the Minimum Legal Sales Age for all tobacco products to 21 was spearheaded by Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, D-NW Portland/Beaverton, along with a statewide coalition of partners called Tobacco 21 for Oregon, on which the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation is a member of the steering committee. Strong bipartisan support in the both the House and Senate made the tobacco 21 law in Oregon a success in 2017.

Local champions have largely driven this movement in non-preempted states. Your voice is more influential than you think. Constituents are an impetus for change at the community and statewide levels. Garner interest around Tobacco 21 at the local and state level by communicating with your local legislators through phone calls, emails, and testimony at local government meetings. Tobacco 21 was enacted in Lane County, one of Oregon’s largest population centers, during the spring of 2017. Which, in turn, spurred even more conversation in the state legislature, culminating in statewide adoption.

Oregon currently has an average rate of high school smoking, and a slightly above average rate of adult smoking. An estimated 68,000 children now under the age of 18 will eventually die prematurely due to smoking, with 1,600 children becoming daily smokers each year. The result is $1.54 billion in annual health care costs directly caused by smoking. The state has been increasing its tobacco prevention funding recently. In 2018 the state was spending 23.7% of the CDC recommended amount. Hopefully, the recent passage of the Tobacco 21 law can avert some of this adverse health and economic outcomes.

Recent Updates

  • 8/9/2017 – Oregon officially becomes the 5th state to increase the sales age of all tobacco products to 21! Read more here.

  • 7/6/2017 – SB 754 passes both House and Senate concurrence vote, onto the Governor's desk for signing

  • 3/14/2017 – Lane County passes a tobacco 21 ordinance, becoming the first locality in the state to enact a law and covering nearly 365,000 people.

  • 3/14/2017Oregon Senate Bill 754 passed by Senate Committee on Health with Do Pass recommendation on the Senate floor.

  • 2/7/2017Oregon Senate Bill 754 introduced to Senate by Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, referred to Senate Committee on Health; would raise tobacco age to 21 in Oregon and hold business owner responsible for violations

Show All Updates

For More Information, Please Contact:

Local Partners:

  • Christina Bodamer
  • Senior Director, Government Relations
  • American Heart Association
  • Oregon Tobacco 21 Local Partner

Other Helpful Resources:

Tobacco Free Kids Oregon

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco.

American Lung Association State Report Card

The ALA ‘State of Tobacco Control’ report tracks progress on key tobacco control policies at the state and federal levels, and assigns grades based on tobacco control laws and regulations in effect as of January 2, 2014.

SLATI State Information Oregon

SLATI (State Legislated Actions on Tobacco Issues) is an extensively researched and invaluable source of information on tobacco control laws and policy, and is the only up-to-date and comprehensive summary of state tobacco control laws.

The Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation and the Campaign For Tobacco Free Kids support these four principles for Tobacco 21 ordinances:

  1. Include all tobacco and nicotine products, specifically e-cigarettes. The only exceptions would be FDA recognized nicotine replacement products (gum, patch, etc.) intended for cessation.
  2. Include significant enforcement provisions against illegal sales as research shows that consistent enforcement is of critical importance.
  3. Not include any pre-emption against local authority in more stringent regulation of tobacco or other nicotine product sales, secondhand smoke, or e-cigarette vapor.
  4. Ideally not include possession, usage, or purchase (PUP) penalties that result in criminal records, and instead place the onus on the purveyors of these addictive products.

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