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Group wants rollbacks of some IA voting restrictions; RSV, Flu, COVID: KY faces "Triple Threat" this winter; Appeals court halts special master review of documents seized at Mar-a-Lago.

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The Senate passes a bill forcing a labor agreement in an effort to avoid a costly railway worker strike. The House Ways and Means Committee has former President Trump's tax returns in hand. The Agriculture Committee is looking at possible regulations for cryptocurrency following the collapse of cryptocurrency giant FTX. The Supreme Court will be reviewing the legality of Biden s student debt relief program next year. Anti-semitic comments from Ye spark the deletion of tweets from the the House Judiciary Committee GOP's Twitter account.

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OR Anti-Smoking Advocates Tout Cigarette-Tax Ballot Measure

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020   

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon would have the highest tax on a pack of cigarettes on the West Coast if a ballot measure passes in November. Anti-smoking advocates are hoping increasing the tax by $2 from its current rate of $1.33 will get more smokers to consider quitting.

Kay Graven is the former lead ambassador in Oregon for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. She began her smoking-prevention advocacy work after her father, a lifelong smoker, died in 2004.

"I don't think my dad would have started smoking if the cost was so high. They were very financially oriented, and so I think that could have had an impact on him," Graven said.

Oregon currently has the 32nd-highest cigarette tax in the country. Washington state and California have the 8th and 9th highest taxes, respectively. In February, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network committed $50,000 to this measure's campaign.

Owners of shops that sell cigarettes have voiced opposition to the measure, saying it could kill their businesses.

The measures also includes a 65% tax on vaping products. It would be the first tax on electronic cigarettes in the state. According to an Oregon Health Authority survey, youth use of e-cigarettes increased 80% between 2017 and 2019.

Graven said she started smoking cigarettes when she was 16 and quit in her 30s. If she were to start smoking as a young person today, she said it would probably be e-cigarettes, which is why this tax is so important.

"E-cigarettes would have been a lot more attractive to me because they don't smell so bad. It's easy to hide," she said. "Cigarettes were not very easy to hide even though I found a way."

Ten percent of funds from the tax would go toward health care and tobacco-control programs. It's estimated the measure would raise $160 million a year and save more than $1 billion in long-term health-care services, according to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.



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