Tag Archives: measure 50 oregon

The Winners and Losers – Largest Tobacco Tax Increase

It wasn’t so long ago that Measure 50 was put before a people’s vote in the state of Oregon.

If it had passed, Oregon would have received 85 cents from each pack of cigarettes sold in the state, with the funds marked for children’s health care programs (and other important programs needing funding in the state).

Unfortunately, Big Tobacco’s manipulative tactics and deep pockets sponsored heavy negative campaigns funded by over 11 million dollars donated from the major tobacco companies. They won by swaying the vote.

Tobacco Tax Increase, Largest in History

Today was a historical day. The government passed the largest cigarette tax increase in the history of tobacco taxes. With the passing of this new tax, Big Tobacco lost and the people won.

Most of the revenue created from the new tax will go toward children’s health care. Values are shifting, and steps are being taken to support our children.

This increase brings the federal cigarette tax from 39 cents a pack to $1.01 and it applies to all tobacco products.

Winners and Losers

Lighting UpThe only real loser is Big Tobacco.

Unfortunately, you will hear those who wish to protect Big Tobacco say, “Obama is breaking his promise not to raise taxes.”

Another complaint expressing victimization is: “The majority of smokers are those who are low to middle income. They cannot afford a tax increase in the current economic climate.”

The fact is, people have a choice to smoke or not to smoke. If they don’t want to pay the tax, then they can stop smoking. Perhaps this is just the push they need to finally quit smoking.

Here’s one response to the tax increase quoted in USA Today:

“I’m going to quit,” said Will Hues, 27, smoking a cigarette outside the convenience store. He said prices have gone up so much that “you’re out of your mind to pay it.”

Responses like Mr. Hues’ are some of the best news for those who advocate life. Currently, every eight seconds someone in the world dies from a tobacco-related disease. That is equivalent to twenty-seven 747 airplanes full of passengers crashing every day. Perhaps we will have one less daily crash with this tax increase. The lives saved are not just numbers, but people who will go on to live a better quality life and be able to spend it with their loved ones.

So, if you are one of those who are complaining, then consider moving to South Carolina. The combined state and federal tobacco taxes in SC are only $1.08.

If you have a family member you are trying to get to quit smoking, then you might want to look at relocating to either Rhode Island or New York. These two states have the highest tobacco taxes. Rhode Island’s combined tobacco taxes are $3.47 and New York’s $3.76.

Today is a victory for living a healthy and long life.

Measure 50 Fails in Oregon

Measure 50 would have raised the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 85 cents to pay for children’s health care and other programs in Oregon.

Don’t let this failure for the health of Oregon’s children lead you to believe that Big Tobacco will always win.

There will always be web sites like Ciggyfree to point out how Big Tobacco manipulates people, our land, our air, and even rewires our brains.

Tobacco addiction is the intention of this industry which in turn reduces the quality of all human life on our planet — all for the sake of padding the selfish coffers of their corporate greed.

CoveringShame on YOU BIG TOBACCO and shame on those who support Big Tobacco.
You are all a bunch of moraless souls putting profits above the value of life.

Tobacco Campaign Tops Record $11 million (Oregonian)

The tobacco money against Oregon’s Measure 50’s proposed cigarette tax increase keeps piling in.

Philip Morris has donated another $1.1 million to the campaign, putting total contributions to that effort over $11 million.

Philip Morris, the Richmond, Virginia,-based maker of Marlboro cigarettes, and its parent company have donated $6.9 million to Stop The Measure 50 Tax Hike. Reynolds American, the maker of Camels, has contributed $4.8 million to another committee opposing the proposal, Oregonians Against The Blank Check.

Kids Versus CigarettesMeasure 50 would raise cigarette taxes by 85 cents a pack and Oregon could use the money for children’s health insurance and other health programs.

The campaign supporting the measure, Yes on the Healthy Kids Plan, has reported raising and spending $3.2 million so far. The proposal is one of two statewide measures on the Nov. 6 vote-by-mail ballot.

Only one campaign for or against a statewide ballot measure had ever topped $7 million in contributions in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to Democracy Reform Oregon, which monitors campaign finance activity. That was a 1992 effort against two measures proposing to shut down and close the Trojan nuclear power plant, which raised just more than $7 million in inflation-adjusted dollars.

Source: The Oregonian, davehogan@news.oregonian.com — Dave Hogan

Click to learn more about >Philip Morris

Send the Carpetbaggers Home: Vote Yes on 50

Salem Oregon – What was it Deep Throat said during the Watergate fiasco? “Follow the money.”

When we do so today in the Measure 50 debate what do we find?

We find the anti-50 side has shattered all records for spending… over $10 million and still going strong… 99.999% of which comes from three out of state tobacco companies.

Oh the shock and surprise are palpable.

No? Me neither.

Big Tobacco, one of the greatest liars of the modern age, is pulling out all the stops in their desperate attempt to derail Measure 50, the Healthy Kids initiative.

To most this is a no-brainer. Raise taxes on tobacco, a known killer and health risk, to fund health care for kids. The ignorance is what is truly palpable however.

I lost track of how many folks spew the ignorant whine that if the tax decreases smoking it will reduce the revenue from the tax and make the project non-viable. This ignores a few facts. If the tax were to cover every penny that smoking costs the health care industry etc it would be over $11 a pack. So we are adding around 85 cents a pack to bring the total; to just a hair over $2 a pack. So let’s say the tax causes a million less packs to be sold. That means $2 million less in revenue from the tax BUT $11 MILLION LESS EXPENSE to the health care infrastructure.

A net GAIN of $9 million.

And couldn’t $2 million of that $9 million in savings be put back into the Healthy Kids initiative, leaving $7 in reduced health care costs that can lower insurance rates and medical costs, fund additional services or some combination of these or other things?

Getting people to quit smoking tobacco is NEVER a bad thing. For society as well as the individual it is always a positive. The smokers might not like to see it that way, but it is.

You have the right to smoke if you are 16 or older. No one is changing that. But it still does not change the fact that it is a stupid thing to do. And I quit a 3-and-a-half pack a day habit in 1985 so I am not just some anti-smoking Nazi. It was stupid then and it is even more stupid now with all the information, costs and inconveniences involved.

But you do NOT have the right to just foist all these incredibly high costs of your chosen vice onto everyone else. Why should the general public subsidize the majority of that $11+ per pack cost associated with your personal habit, especially when doing so means less of the health care pie is available to kids needing health care?

Short answer… it shouldn’t.

The argument in the ads is we should not tax a few to benefit others. The truth is we should not tax everyone to benefit the stupid personal health choices of a few. But that is the current standard, unfortunately, but Measure 50 balances it out just a little bit. Nowhere near how much it should, but a lot better than it does currently.

One of the lamest arguments provided by Big Tobacco’s well funded propaganda campaign is it is wrong to modify the Constitution of Oregon.

Who the heck do these tools think they are kidding? This is Oregon. We mess with the Constitution all the time. When was the last 4 year period where there was not at least one Constitutional amendment on the ballot? Puh-LEEZE! And we do not put tax issues into the Constitution? SINCE WHEN?

Basically the argument is too ludicrous for mere words to describe in its full grandeur.

The last argument by the desperate liars of the Big Tobacco propaganda machine is that there are kids who already qualify for the Oregon Health Plan but are not enrolled. While this is true, it is not an indictment against the OHP nor Measure 50. No one is REQUIRED to enroll. It is voluntary. Measure 50 would allow tens of thousands of kids to enroll who CANNOT enroll currently. Will some still not be enrolled? Probably. But that is the decision of the parents.

Many who qualify do not apply because of the way the system works. I know a person who could qualify, for example, for job placement assistance. But he will not do it. Why? Because not only are the jobs provided bottom of the barrel types with no future but the program requires you to attend meetings, during work hours, and these employers are not interested in giving the participants the time off, so either you get disqualified for your food stamps because you missed the meetings or you get disqualified because you got fired.

It is a no win situation and whether they are right or wrong many people feel the same way about the Oregon Health Plan. And this is just one big reason for the lack of enrollment of many who already qualify.

But that is an issue with DHS, not Measure 50.

But the most telling reason to vote YES on 50 is because out of state Big Tobacco seems to think they can come into our state like carpetbaggers in the post-Civil War South and buy elections in Oregon for their benefit and against the interests of Oregonians.

Send the carpetbaggers packing.

Help kids get health care.

Reduce the use of tobacco.

Increase the health of Oregonians overall.

Rarely can you do one right thing for so many right reasons, Do not miss the opportunity now.

Vote YES on Measure 50

Source: Political Commentary by Neal Feldman Salem-News.com

Reynolds American Adds $304,000 to Fight Oregon Measure 50

Dave Hogan from The Oregonian reported today that:

Reynolds American, the makers of Camel cigarettes, has contributed another $304,000 to the record-setting campaign against Measure 50, which would raise Oregon’s cigarette tax by 85 cents a pack.”

Reynolds, based in Winston-Salem, N.C., has now contributed $4.6 million to the Oregonians Against The Blank Check campaign while Philip Morris, the makers of Marlboros, and its parent company have donated $5.8 million to the Stop The Measure 50 Tax Hike committee.

Those two committees have raised far more money than any other ballot measure campaign in Oregon history.

50.gifIt looks like Reynolds has a major business problem with measure 50! If fewer people can afford to maintain smoking and fewer children pick up the addiction, tobacco profits will plummet to record lows.

In order to profit, a cigarette company needs to always find replacement smokers since the majority of smokers die before their time.

The CDC says that in 2006 tobacco use was the leading preventable cause of death in the United States and that cigarette smoking causes an estimated 438,000 deaths, or about 1 of every 5 deaths, each year. This estimate includes approximately 38,000 deaths from secondhand smoke exposure.

Click here to learn more The Oregonian .

Cigarette Companies Light Up More Donations Against Measure 50

In a last-drag effort to defeat Oregon’s 85-cents-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes, the makers of Camel smokes tossed in another $905,000 today against the fight to crush Measure 50.

Today’s donation puts tobacco contributions at a staggering record of $10 million so far.

Reynolds American, the producers of Camel, has now contributed $4.2 million to the campaign against Measure 50.

The other $5.8 million has come from Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro’s.

In case you were wondering what Measure 50 will do, well, allow us to tell you what it will do: Money raised from the tax increase for cigarettes would be used to pay for children’s health insurance and other health programs.

Measure 50 will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot, with ballots being mailed next week.

Map of OregonWhile at least 10 other Oregon ballot measure campaigns have raised more than $5 million in adjusted-for-inflation dollars during the past 20 years, only one raised more than $7 million and none raised more than $8 million, the Oregonian reported.

Source: Joseph Friedrichs, New West

R.J. Reynolds Forms Committee To Oppose Oregon Cigarette Tax Increase

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco on Friday filed with the Oregon state Elections Division to form the “Oregonians Against the Blank Check” committee.

Their goal is to oppose a ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to increase the state cigarette tax by 84.5 cents per pack to fund health initiatives, the Oregonian reported.

Measure 50 would generate an estimated $153 million from 2007 to 2009 and $233 million from 2009 to 2011.

Democratic lawmakers this year were unable to secure a three-fifths majority in the state Legislature, which was needed to pass legislation to raise the tax, but there were enough votes to put it on the ballot as a constitutional measure.

The initiative will be on the Nov. 6 ballot (Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, 8/14).

Oregon ImageMost of the funding would be used to provide health care for more than 100,000 children in the state.

However, opponents say the initiative also would give lawmakers the ability to spend as much as $68 million on other health programs. J.L. Wilson, a spokesperson for the R.J. Reynolds campaign, said, “Our contention is that it’s not so much about insuring kids as it is about providing blank checks for various interest groups.”

Wilson said he expects the campaign to spend $3 million, but it might spend more. Philip Morris USA also has created a committee to oppose the measure, called the “Stop the Measure 50 Tax Hike” (Oregonian, 8/18).