Media Room


Governor Kate Brown
American Cancer Society Lobby Day
February 27, 2020

I’m honored to receive this award. Thanks to Christopher Friend for his work on the vaping workgroup. 

Thanks to your research we know that Oregon is projected to have over 23,000 new cases of cancer diagnosed in 2020, and over 8,000 cancer deaths. 

It’s difficult to be the bearer of bad news, but from where I sit, I see information as power. And here’s what we know: 

Tobacco remains the No. 1 preventable cause of death and disease in Oregon and is responsible for nearly 8,000 deaths per year. 

But here’s what we also know: Quitting nicotine addiction is hard, but it’s possible.

● More than half of Oregon adults who smoke try to quit every year – regardless of their age, income, race, ethnicity, or education. 

● Many people who used to smoke will tell you that quitting is the hardest thing they’ve ever done, and that it’s something they’re incredibly proud of. 

It is our responsibility to create communities where quitting nicotine addiction is possible. 

Because we spend nearly 9% of our annual healthcare budget addressing cigarette smoking. And more than 60% of that is paid for by Medicaid and Medicare. 

I support the tobacco tax. And 10% of revenue will go to support rural and tribal communities. 

Big tobacco companies have targeted low-income communities and communities of color for decades. We need to make sure these communities have the resources they need to help people quit. 

In Oregon, this starts with being a national leader in ensuring every person in the state has access to counseling and medications that work. 

I know you’re following HB4078 closely (prohibits remote inhalant delivery systems). Passed House, currently in the Senate healthcare work session.