COTTAGE GROVE — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown praised Cottage Grove and Lane County tobacco prevention policies on a swing through the city Friday, while touting ongoing efforts to lower the rate of tobacco-related deaths statewide.
Brown spoke at Cottage Grove High School, joined by Oregon Health Authority officials to highlight state successes in lowering tobacco use. They marked 20 years since an Oregon voter-approved ballot measure increased taxes on tobacco products to fund the Oregon Health Plan and tobacco prevention programs. The Oregon Health Plan provides health insurance for low-income and disabled residents.
Brown specifically pushed for a bill currently in the state Legislature that would make Oregon the third state to raise its tobacco purchase age to 21 from 18. It would cover all tobacco products, from cigarettes to electronic devices such as vaping pens.
The Oregon Senate passed the measure in March, and it awaits a vote in the state House of Representatives.
“We hope once we get it passed,” Brown said, “we’ll have even fewer young Oregonians start smoking in the future.”
She spoke in the high school library with Cottage Grove High School students who formed an advisory council to prevent youth tobacco use….