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New Report: Increasing Oregon's Cigarette Tax Will Reduce Smoking, Save Lives and Save Money
Date:10/16/2007

84.5-cent Increase Would Also Fund Health Coverage for More Than 100,000 Kids

WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Oregon residents prepare to vote on a November ballot initiative that would increase the state cigarette tax to fund children's health care, a report released today finds that the 84.5-cent increase would not only fund health care for more than 100,000 Oregon kids, but also dramatically reduce youth smoking and tobacco-related health care costs and save thousands of lives.

The 22-page report by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids -- titled "Tobacco Tax Benefits For Oregon: Reducing Smoking, Saving Lives and Saving Money" -- finds that the 84.5-cent cigarette tax increase in Ballot Measure 50 would:

* Prevent more than 29,000 Oregon kids from becoming smokers

* Spur more than 15,000 current adult smokers to quit for good

* Save more than 13,000 Oregonians from premature, smoking-caused deaths

* Produce more than $662 million in long-term health care savings

* Raise more than $94 million a year to expand health care coverage to more than 100,000 Oregon kids.

"This report provides powerful evidence that increasing the cigarette tax by 84.5 cents will improve both the physical and financial health of Oregon for generations to come," said William V. Corr, Executive Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

"In addition to funding children's health care, a higher cigarette tax will significantly reduce smoking, lower smoking-caused health care costs and save lives. A higher cigarette tax to fund health care coverage is a win-win for Oregon's kids," Corr said.

If approved, the 84.5-cent increase would raise Oregon's total state cigarette tax to $2.02 per pack, about the same as neighboring Washington. A total of 44 states have increased their cigarette taxes in recent years, and eight states currently have cigarette taxes of $2 or more.

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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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