Smoking causes nearly 30% of cancer deaths. Saving lives from cancer matters to me, as three of my relatives were taken from our family too soon because of tobacco. They all died from lung cancer after being lifelong smokers. My grandma quit smoking for about 10 years after my grandpa died, thinking she'd avoid the same fate, but the damage was done. She passed away from lung cancer after an 18-month battle, one month before her great-granddaughter was born. She wanted to meet that baby, and as you can imagine it was heartbreaking when we realized that would never happen. What big tobacco has done to my family isn't fair, but I won't let it stop me from fighting for other families.
There's an easy way to fight cancer and save lives. Measure 108 will raise the cigarette tax and establish Oregon's first e-cigarette tax. Given the youth e-cigarette epidemic, I can't believe we don't tax e-cigarettes to protect kids. Youth are price sensitive, so increasing the tax on all tobacco products will help prevent teen use.
Measure 108 will keep 19,000 Oregon kids and young adults from smoking. It means 12,000 Oregonians won't die prematurely from a smoking-related death. At the same time, Measure 108 will lower health care costs for everyone, while funding important health care programs statewide.
Vote yes on Measure 108 to create a healthier future for everyone.
Milwaukie resident Nicole LaRose is a volunteer with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.
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