Cameron Schmitt of CVS talks about distributing the COVID-19 vaccine at nursing homes on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. Salem Statesman Journal
A series of increases of taxes on cigarettes, other tobacco products and inhalant delivery products will begin Friday after Oregon voters passed Measure 108 by a wide margin in November.
It will be the first time vapes and other e-cigarette products are taxed in Oregon.
Cigarettes will be taxed an additional $2 or $2.50, depending on the size of the pack. Cigars will be taxed $1, and vapes and e-cigarette products will be taxed at a rate of 65% on the wholesale purchase price.
The hike would bring Oregon more into line with California and Washington when it comes to the cost of cigarettes.
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The increased cigarette tax is projected to yield an annual revenue of $134.86 million.
Revenue produced by the tax changes will be used by the Oregon Health Authority to fund health care coverage for low-income families, including mental health services and public health programs such as those addressing tobacco- and nicotine-related disease.
Oregon Vital Statistics data indicates smoking leads to nearly 8,000 deaths per year.
According to Oregon Health Authority data, youth vaping increased by 80% from 2017 to 2019.
Right now, one in four high schoolers in Oregon report vaping. And teens who vape are three times more likely to start smoking cigarettes, according to national research.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network officials said the new tax will be a win-win by lowering health care costs for everyone while funding tobacco prevention programs.
What you’ll pay
Here is a breakdown of Measure 108 changes:
- The cigarette tax will increase by $2 per pack of 20 and $2.50 per pack of 25. The current tax is $1.33 per pack.
- Little cigars, collectively weighing 3 pounds or less per 1,000, must be sold in sealed packages of at least 20. The packs will be taxed as cigarettes and will require an Oregon cigarette tax stamp.
- Inhalant delivery systems, such as vaping and e-cigarette products, will be taxed at a rate of 65% of the wholesale purchase price.
- The cap on the tax on cigars increases from 50 cents to $1.
Statesman Journal reporter Whitney Woodworth contributed to this story. Contact reporter Dana Sparks at [email protected] or 541-338-2243, and follow her on Twitter @danamsparks and Instagram @danasparksphoto.
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