Public Policy and Tobacco
Public policy is an important piece in creating a smokefree Oregon. Local and state policies and laws make Oregon’s air smoke free, make it easier to quit and make tobacco use less appealing to youth. For example, policies:
- Create smokefree spaces.
- Make tobacco more expensive and less available – major deterrents to youth starting.
- Ensure that tobacco is not marketed to youth.
- Provide insurance coverage to help people quit.
- Ensure funding for tobacco prevention and education.
Public policy has a place in tobacco prevention because tobacco use affects the public’s health and economic stability. Tobacco-related illnesses are the leading preventable cause of death – 7,000 Oregonians died of tobacco-related diseases last year – and a leading expense to the state. Medical expenses and lost productivity cost Oregon more than $2 billion in 2005.
This section discusses public policy in Oregon and explores what’s working here and in other states.
To find more about current policy action and how you can get involved, please visit the Tobacco-Free Coalition of Oregon, the American Lung Association in Oregon, American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society.
Oregonians, including tobacco users, overwhelmingly support policies that protect everyone from the more than 43 harmful toxins in cigarette smoke.
Some important policies that have recently passed to help protect Oregonians include:
Indoor Clean Air Act – January 1, 2009:
All restaurants, bars, bingo halls and bowling centers are smoke free. Smoking is also prohibited within 10 feet of entrances, exits, windows that open and ventilation intakes of workplaces or public places. If you would like to file a complaint of a violation, please click here.
To learn more about the specifics of the law, click here.
Smoking Disclosure Law – January 1, 2010:
Landlords are required, as part of the rental housing agreement, to disclose their smoking policy. The disclosure must identify whether smoking is prohibited on the premises, allowed on the entire premises, or allowed in limited areas on the premises.
Click here for more information.
Compiled by the Oregon Tobacco Prevention and Education Program from information provided by county health programs. Please call email firstname.lastname@example.org/resources with any updates, corrections or questions.