Oregon voters to consider tax on tobacco, e-cigarettes

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon voters will decide next year whether the state should increase its tobacco tax.

The Senate voted 18-8 Sunday to put the question to the voters for next year’s general election. The measure will increase the cigarette tax by $2 a pack and impose the state’s first tax on e-cigarettes and other vaping products.

The move is central to the governor’s plan to bridge a shortfall in the state’s Medicaid program. The state is facing a $346 million hole in its Medicaid budget for the next biennium because of decreases in federal funding.

The cigarette tax would be raised from $1.33 per pack to $3.33. E-cigarettes and cigars will be taxed at 65% of wholesale price.