Oregon - residents are smoking less though ranked 35th in tobacco control spending..

April 25, 2010 - In 2009 Oregon stores sold 183 million packs of cigarettes, according to the state Department of Human Services.

That massive number sounds like depressing health news, and is - it's enough to give every man, woman and child in Oregon 48 packs of smokes plus eight looseys. But it's an improvement over 2008, when 189 million packs were sold, equal to two more two packs per person. More importantly, it means that tobacco consumption has been cut almost in half since 1996. The state department of human services estimates that the decrease has led to Oregonians smoking 64 billion fewer cigarettes in that time.

In Oregon, 16.3 percent of adults now smoke, according to a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control report. That's the 11th-lowest rate in the United States, behind the national average of 18.4 percent. Oregon's 16th in teen tobacco use, with 9.7 percent of youth 12 to 17 smoking, behind the national average of 10.1 percent.

The CDC's report not only catalogs smoking rates but also evaluates how good a job states are doing at ending tobacco use. The CDC credits Oregon with having one of the most successful sets of laws against smoking in the workplace, a high rate of families who ban smoking at home and solid offerings of help quitting cigarettes online, through a state hotline and the Oregon Health Plan. But the report critiques Oregon for being one of 13 states that doesn't license tobacco sellers, for having slightly below-average tobacco taxes and for spending just a ninth of the CDC-recommended amount on tobacco control; Oregon is 35th if you rank states by tobacco control spending. (Oregon's cigarette tax stands at $1.18 per pack of twenty and ranks 25th highest nationally.)

Reference: Oregonians are smoking less, despite low state spending on tobacco control by Andy Dworkin, The Oregonian, 4/23/2010.

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