Keeping Our Fight Strong

Reducing Smoking and Tobacco Use

Oregon has a strong commitment to preventing tobacco use. The state’s Tobacco Prevention and Education Program (TPEP) works in every county and with Oregon’s federally recognized tribes. Together, with people in their communities, they support changes that limit the tobacco industry’s influence, protect people from secondhand smoke, keep youth from starting and help people quit.

“Since TPEP began in 1997, cigarette sales in Oregon have declined by nearly two-thirds.””Since 1996, the percentage of Oregon adults who smoke cigarettes has declined by 31.”1

Oregon’s Legacy of Leadership

Tobacco prevention and education in the United States started in the 1960s with Oregon’s own U.S. Senator, Maurine B. Neuberger. She helped lead one of the first campaigns against smoking, worked toward requiring health warning labels on cigarette packages, and called for a national prevention program. This was even before the U.S. Surgeon General publicly linked smoking with cancer.2 Sen. Neuberger took on the tobacco industry in her 1963 book, “Smoke Screen: Tobacco and the Public Welfare.” Oregon has continued this legacy ever since.

There’s more to do: join us!

Despite these accomplishments, the Smokefree Oregon movement has more work to do. One out of six Oregonians still smoke.3 Three in five people who smoke want to quit3 but struggle to break the addiction. Tobacco is linked to over 21 percent of all Oregon deaths4 and costs our state $2.9 billion every year in direct medical costs and lost productivity.5 Although we’ve made gains in reducing smoking, the tobacco industry is finding ways to keep people addicted to nicotine and entice young people to start: e-cigarettes and vape.

You can hold the tobacco industry accountable for the harm it causes. Let’s work together to protect kids, our families and our communities. Together, we’re stronger than Big Tobacco.

  1. Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division, Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention Section. (2018). Oregon tobacco facts. Retrieved from

  2. U.S. House of Representatives. History, Art & Archives. Neuberger, Maurine Brown. Retrieved from,-Maurine-Brown-(N000052)/

  3. Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division. Oregon chronic disease data. Retrieved from

  4. Oregon Health Authority. (2017). Oregon Vital Statistics Annual Report 2017. Table 6-20. Retrieved from

  5. Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. The Toll of Tobacco in Oregon. Retrieved from