Smokefree Oregon

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Get Alerts When Your Action is Needed

We’ll get in touch from time to time with actions you can take on tobacco issues. We’ll also share the latest news in tobacco prevention and resources for quitting tobacco.

Get Alerts When Your Action is Needed

We’ll get in touch from time to time with actions you can take on tobacco issues. We’ll also share the latest news in tobacco prevention and resources for quitting tobacco.

Stooping to New Lows

The tobacco industry markets hard in some communities. They go after people who have faced racism and other discrimination, people earning lower incomes, and people who are stressed or struggling. It’s time for these racist and discriminatory practices to end.

Over the years, people in Oregon have worked together to protect most employees from secondhand smoke and vape aerosol. They have created more smoke-free housing, especially for renters. They have created smoke-free parks, colleges, events and many other places. By asking for changes and supporting smoke-free laws, we are protecting people’s health, helping prevent chronic diseases like heart disease and asthma, and helping people quit tobacco or not start.

Despite these strong laws, a lot of people — especially those who work in places like hotels, casinos, home care and construction sites — still breathe smoke on the job. People earning lower wages, like service and hospitality workers, are

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American Indian and Alaska Native Peoples

For many tribal communities, traditional tobacco is a sacred plant used for healing, prayer and celebration. Colonizers stole it, mixed in deadly additives, and market commercial tobacco back to tribal communities to create addiction. The commercial tobacco industry sees these Nations as open opportunities to maximize profits through promotions, events and giveaways.

The tobacco industry harms tribes and Native communities in Oregon. It steals cultural imagery and misrepresents sacred traditions to sell its products. Sovereign Tribal Nations are not subject to state and local smoke-free laws and other protections. The commercial tobacco industry sees these Nations as open opportunities to maximize profits through promotions, events and giveaways.

In Oregon, 30 percent of American Indians smoke compared to 18 percent of non-Hispanic whites. 

In Oregon, native-led organizations and the state’s nine federally recognized tribes have united to fight back. They are using their tribal culture to prevent commercial tobacco use and fight tobacco industry tactics. The Native Quit Line offers culturally-specific help for American Indian and Alaska Native peoples to quit tobacco.

Combat tobacco industry targeting; find out what’s going on in your community.

The Significance of Sacred Tobacco

People who are addicted to tobacco feel the loss at the cash register, paying more than $5 for a pack of cigarettes.1  (In fact, a person who smokes a pack a day will save about $2,000 per year if they quit.)2 They also live with a greater risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.3

Even people who don’t use tobacco feel the pain it delivers. Nearly 8,000 people in Oregon die of tobacco-related diseases every year.4 Nationwide, more people die from tobacco than from illegal drug use, car crashes and gun deaths combined.5

Those lost lives hurt the most, but the financial cost is painful, too: in Oregon alone, tobacco costs $2.9 billion in direct medical costs and lost productivity every year.6 That’s more than Oregon spends annually on public safety—for prisons, state police and the courts.7

We pay as a state and as individuals – through our taxes and through health insurance rates – to the tune of $1,700 for every Oregon household each year.8

If together we could keep the tobacco industry at bay and help people heal, what opportunities could we build with those dollars?