People who are addicted to tobacco feel the loss at the cash register, paying more than $5 for a pack of cigarettes. (In fact, a person who smokes a pack a day will save about $2,000 per year if they quit.)1 They also live with a greater risk of developing heart disease, cancer, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.2
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.3 Nationwide, more people die from tobacco than from illegal drug use, car crashes and gun deaths combined.4
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.5 That’s more than Oregon spends annually on public safety — for prisons, state police and the courts.6
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.7
If together we could keep the tobacco industry at bay and help people heal, what opportunities could we build with those dollars?