Forecast knocks down tobacco industry claim that taxes from the sale of their deadly products are more important than protecting our children’s health
Salem, OR – Today’s Oregon Economic Forecast notes that “available resources are expected to be up sharply…. both in the near term and over the extended horizon.”
This positive revenue forecast creates a clear path for the passage of HB 3090 that would end the sale of flavored tobacco products.
The forecast removes a hurdle pushed by the tobacco industry that the bill would reduce tobacco tax revenues and negatively impact state budgets. The Oregon Health Authority reported that reduced revenue from the ending the sale of addictive flavored tobacco products would be more than offset by Oregon Health Plan savings and increased economic activity.
"Today's revenue forecast demolishes Big Tobacco’s cynical argument that Oregon must choose tobacco tax revenue over protecting our kids from the dangers of their flavored products," said Rep. Lisa Reynolds, a pediatrician and Chief Sponsor of HB 3090 that would end the sale of flavored tobacco products in Oregon. "Now is the time to act. Ending the sale of these products will save thousands of lives and millions of dollars in the future by avoiding the high healthcare cost of treating smoking-related illnesses."
Lillie Manvel, Executive Director of Upstream Public Health added, “We cannot afford to let this moment pass. Our broad coalition of local community leaders and public health experts across the state calls on the legislature to swiftly pass HB 3090 to protect youth and save lives by ending the sale of menthol and other flavored tobacco products.
New research from Tobacconomics concluded that passing HB 3090 would mean Oregon would save millions in avoided health care costs and result in fewer people smoking. For our kids and other Oregonians it’s about saving lives:
● More than 4,000 smokers will quit,
● About 900 premature smoking-caused deaths will be avoided,
● Save over $34 million in long-term health care costs and
● Fewer kids will start using flavored tobacco.
In Oregon, tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease, killing more than 8,000 people each year, and costing $5.7 billion annually in medical costs and lost productivity.
Flavored tobacco products like Cotton Candy and Orange Soda are intentionally marketed to kids. Ending the sale of flavored tobacco products will protect the health of our youth and prevent them from becoming addicted to nicotine, and lifelong tobacco users.
Flavors Hook Oregon Kids
Flavors mask the harshness of tobacco making it easier for young people to start. Candy and fruity flavors target kids, and these enticing products serve as an on-ramp to nicotine addiction and prolonged tobacco use. For too long, the tobacco industry has targeted youth, especially kids of color and other vulnerable populations, with flavored tobacco products, all to hook new customers. The tactic is working:
● The 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey showed:
o Morethan 3 million middle and high school students used tobacco products
o 85% of youth e-cigarette users reported using flavored products
● 81% of kids who’ve used tobacco started with a flavored product.*
● Each year, 5,000 Oregon kids will try their first cigarette.*
● 11.9% of Oregon 11th graders are current e-cigarette users.*
Oregonians support ending sales of all flavored tobacco products
Recent polling shows that 62% of Oregonians support ending the sale of flavored tobacco products.*
About Flavors Hook Oregon Kids Flavors Hook Oregon Kids is a statewide coalition of over 60 diverse organizations focused on protecting the health of Oregon kids by ending the sale of flavored tobacco products. The coalition includes the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association, Kaiser Permanente and community-based organizations across the state.
*Sources: JAMA, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Oregon Health Authority; poll conducted by FM3 of 800 Oregon voters between Jan. 18-21, 2023.