PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in Oregon and across the U.S. as a whole, according to the American Lung Association. ALA gave Oregon and other states a grade for their role in preventing tobacco use in its latest report.

The association released the 21st annual State of Tobacco Control report on Wednesday. SOTC shows the letter grade that the federal government and each individual state received for factors such as tobacco prevention and control program funding, smoke-free air, access to cessation services, flavored tobacco products and tobacco taxes.

Here is how Oregon’s tobacco control laws and policies were graded —

  • Tobacco prevention and control program funding: A
  • Smokefree air: A
  • Tobacco taxes: C
  • Access to cessation services: C
  • Flavored tobacco products: F

Oregon was one of just five states that earned the best-possible grade for tobacco prevention. Delaware, Maine, Oklahoma and Utah also received an “A.”

ALA reports that the Beaver State allocated $53,108,908 in state funding for tobacco control for the fiscal year 2023, while the Center for Disease Control recommends just $39.3 million for state spending.

“Thumbs up for Oregon for substantially increasing funding for its state tobacco control program when compared to the last two year-state budget and exceeding the CDC-recommended funding level this year,” the report said.

Because smoking is prohibited at many places including schools, government work sites and restaurants, Oregon received an “A” for its state smoking restrictions as well.

On the other hand, the state failed in the flavored tobacco products category. There were only 10 places that ALA didn’t give an F grade to.

With that being said, the Oregon legislature has contemplated enacting a statewide ban on flavored tobacco and nicotine products. If approved, the state bill would be following the lead of Washington and Multnomah counties that supported similar measures and ordinances last year.

Overall, ALA reported that there were 5,470 smoking-attributable deaths in Oregon last year. To describe this number, the association advised state officials to ban sales of all flavored tobacco products and to ensure that there are no exemptions to the Indoor Clean Air Act.

Here is how Washington state was graded for its tobacco control in comparison to Oregon.

  • Tobacco prevention and control program funding: F
  • Smokefree air: A
  • Tobacco taxes: C
  • Access to cessation services: F
  • Flavored tobacco products: F

According to ALA, “Washington’s elected officials [should] increase funding for tobacco prevention and cessation programs, remove penalties for youth possession, use and purchase of tobacco products and defend Washington’s Clean Indoor Air law.”