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PORTLAND, Ore (KOIN) — Limiting campaign contributions and a tax on tobacco and nicotine are two out of four statewide ballot measures Oregon voters approved on Election day, respectively Measures 107 and 108.
The passage of Measure 108, which establishes a tax on e-cigarettes and increases the cigarette tax, was praised by one of its coalitions of members, the American Lung Association.
“Increasing tobacco taxes is one of the most effective ways to reduce tobacco use, especially among our youth. Measure 108 is a great win,” said the ALA’s National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer, in a written statement to KOIN 6 News. “The new revenue will provide additional funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs and supplement funding for the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program.”
State lawmakers passed Measure 108 but referred it to the public for a vote. It will raise Oregon’s cigarette tax from 32nd-highest in the nation to 6th-highest. The most controversial part of Measure 108 is that it would allow the state to start taxing e-cigarettes and vaping products at 65% of the wholesale price — just like cigars. Supporters of the plan claim that would discourage use, especially among teens. Opponents say it would shut down some small businesses.
Measure 107, the campaign finance measure that was also passed on election day, authorizes the state legislature and local governments to (1) enact laws or ordinances limiting campaign contributions and expenditures; (2) require disclosure of contributions and expenditures; and (3) require that political advertisements identify the people or entities that paid for them (Information from Ballotpedia)
Oregon also voted to soften on hard drugs with the passage of a measure to decriminalize small amounts of illicit substances while establishing treatment and recovery programs. Another measure passed legalized medicinal psilocybin.