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Health & Medicine

As Measure 44 Turns 20, Health Advocates Discuss Further Anti-Smoking Efforts

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Quinn Dombrowski
/
Flickr.com

Anti-tobacco advocates gathered in Cottage Grove today to mark 20 years of legislation aimed at smoking prevention.

Governor Kate Brown - along with members of the Oregon Health Authority- say it’s been 20 years since voters approved Measure 44.  It raised the price of tobacco and steered some tobacco tax sales revenue towards prevention programs.

As a result, cigarette pack sales have dropped by more than 55 percent.  Governor Brown says pending legislation will help even more by raising the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21.

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Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Governor Kate Brown, at today's event in Cottage Grove where further tobacco prevention tactics were shared.

“T-21," says Brown.  "My understanding is the bill’s coming to the House floor, and I’m cautiously optimistic it’s going to pass.

"So I look forward to signing that bill into law.

"But I also think community engagement efforts are absolutely crucial," adds Brown.  

"The city, the county, youth advisory councils…all to discourage people from starting to smoke in the first place.”

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Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Anti-smoking bracelets handed out at today's Cottage Grove event.

Still, tobacco use remains the top preventable cause of death and disease in Oregon. 

More than 7,000 users die each year.

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