Supporters of Oregon cigarette tax raise nearly $9M

(Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Supporters of an upcoming ballot measure that will ask Oregon voters to raise the cigarette tax by $2 per pack say they have raised nearly $9 million.

Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Tuesday that most of the contributions from seven health systems that do business in Oregon, including a $3.3 million gift from Washington-based Providence Health & Services.

The ballot measure, referred to voters by state lawmakers, would increase the cost of a pack of cigarettes from $1.33 to $3.33.

It would also add a 65% tax for electronic cigarettes, which are not taxed in Oregon.

The hike would bring Oregon more into line with California and Washington when it comes to the cost of cigarettes.

But a similar effort in 2007 failed after tobacco interests outspent proponents by $8 million.