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Feb-01-2008 09:40printcomments

Oregonians are Smoking 41% Less According to New Report

Exposure to secondhand smoke also declined during the past decade, according to the report.

Cigarette smoking

(SALEM, Ore.) - Oregonians smoked an estimated 2.6 billion fewer cigarettes between 1996 and 2006 as consumption decreased 41 percent during that time, according a report from the Oregon Department of Human Services Public Health Division.

Oregon outpaced the nation by 10 percent, as cigarette smoking dropped 31 percent in the United States during the same period, according to Oregon Tobacco Facts, released by the Oregon Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP).

Tobacco use has declined among adults, youth and pregnant women since 1996 when Oregon voters approved a tobacco tax increase, which in part funds the state's anti-smoking effort. "We've come a long way in 10 years, but tobacco use still takes a tremendous toll on Oregonians," said Mel Kohn, M.D., state epidemiologist in DHS. "We must continue to help people quit and prevent kids from starting to smoke."

Kohn said Oregonians are four times more likely to die due to tobacco-related causes than from motor vehicle accidents, suicide, AIDS and homicide combined.

"With nearly a quarter of all deaths in Oregon attributed to tobacco use, this is truly a health epidemic," he said. "And unlike many diseases, this situation is entirely preventable."

Here are some of the 1996-2006 changes in Oregon tobacco consumption patterns:

  • 22 percent fewer adults smoke;
  • 59 percent fewer 8th graders smoke;
  • 46 percent fewer 11th graders smoke; and
  • 30 percent fewer pregnant women smoke, meaning that potentially 17,500 fewer infants were exposed to the effects of prenatal smoking.

Exposure to secondhand smoke also declined during the past decade, according to the report. In a survey, 87 percent of Oregon adults said that people should be protected from secondhand smoke.

More than 95 percent of employees are covered by the Oregon Clean Indoor Air Act, which prohibits smoking in most workplaces. Almost all indoor workplaces, including bars, are required to be smoke free by January 2009.

Oregon Tobacco Facts is available at Oregon Tobacco Facts.

TPEP works with local health departments, tribes, schools and community organizations to deliver a comprehensive tobacco prevention program to Oregonians. These program activities use evidence-based strategies to reduce and prevent tobacco use. For more information, visit State of Oregon: Tobacco Prevention & Education Program (TPEP).

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Henry Ruark February 2, 2008 2:29 pm (Pacific time)

To all: Circulation-drop for TIMES is in large part cutback due to costs of longer-distance travel for paper. The new-reader count is, in fact, reported as "growing", as is the profit margin and the actual dollar-amount so designated. Distortion of numbers here is part of same game played for thirty years by certain cult, whose dollar interests are facilitated by anything that keeps citizenry in that uninformed and unknowing state which allows easy-pull of wool-over-eyes.

Jefferson February 2, 2008 1:07 pm (Pacific time)

Yes when people are left alone they figure out things pretty well for themselves. Unfortunately there will always be those busybodies that will opine for a nanny-state type of intervention, i.e. , people can't figure out what the advertisers are doing? Of course they can! No doubt the people figured out what the New York Times is doing and their circulation is going down, as is their tobacco consumption...

Neal Feldman February 1, 2008 12:40 pm (Pacific time)

And what brought this about? Prohibition? Nope. Education and treatment options and not criminalizing the users. Gee seem these concepts DO work! Do they eliminate all use? Of course not... nothing will. Ah well...

Henry Ruark February 1, 2008 10:41 am (Pacific time)

To all: "See also" Joe Camel/Oregon Lottery story...could it be that "pinch comes to pain" for Big T. in Oregon, even after $12 MILLION spent to avoid higher tax on deadly nicotine poison still sold here ? What better way to seduce youth once again but via the Lottery, with added lure of gambling-win ?? Joe Camel image is surely still under Big T control --wanna bet ??!! How many deaths, deadly addictions, destruction of clean-air in workspaces, et al, et al, will it take before we do it right ?

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