March 20, 2002
Contact: Bonnie Widerburg, (971) 673-1282
Technical Contact: Mel Kohn, M.D., (971) 673-0982
Oregonians Smoking Less Calls to Oregon Tobacco Quit Line Go Up
Sales of Cigarettes Statewide Shows Steady Decline
The latest data on smoking show Oregonians are outpacing the nation in decreased tobacco use. Since launching Oregon's tobacco prevention efforts in 1996, cigarette consumption is down by nearly one-third, youth smoking is declining sharply and calls to help smokers quit are on the rise.
Oregon's top health officials report Oregon's cigarette consumption is down 29.3 percent from 1996, compared to the latest national figure of 13.3 percent. Oregonians smoked an estimated 1.5 billion fewer cigarettes in 2001 than in 1996.
"That translates into 75 million packs of cigarettes," Mel Kohn, M.D., state epidemiologist in the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) said. "For each year we maintain this success, over 1,800 lives and $450 million, will be saved in Oregon's future." Oregon tracks statewide tobacco consumption by totaling annual tobacco-tax data from the Oregon Department of Revenue.
According to 2001 DHS statistics, smoking among Oregon's young people has dropped dramatically. The percentage of eighth graders who smoke is down 44 percent since 1996. Among 11th graders, smoking is down 30 percent since 1996.
In addition, an increasing number of Oregon smokers are trying to quit tobacco as evidenced by the sharp increase of calls to the
Oregon Tobacco Quit Line. Oregonians can access the toll-free Oregon Quit Line by calling (877) 270-STOP or the toll-free spanish line at (877) 2-NO FUME.
"Oregon is making substantial progress," Kohn said. "The latest numbers show that the comprehensive approach to tobacco prevention works," he added. In 1999, Oregon's program was cited by the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a national model for states to emulate.
As further evidence tobacco use in Oregon is on the decline, state health officials point to the latest data collected from the state's toll-free quit line.
"Our data show a dramatic jump in the number of calls. We received 5,304 more calls in 2001 than in 2000. That's an increase of more than 43 percent," Kohn said. "Nine out of ten callers report the information they received was delivered professionally and helped give them the confidence they needed to quit," he added.
The tobacco prevention campaign will maintain high visibility statewide with new commercials slated to hit the airwaves later this month. "The new ads utilize creative approaches proven to be effective in reducing smoking. Two of the new ads are locally produced and speak directly and honestly to smokers in a positive, encouraging voice and offer information to help quit smoking," Kohn said.
Download and print this
Comparison Data sent as public service announcements.
(Calls to the Oregon Quit Line, Smoking Prevalence by Oregon Youth, Annual Cigarette Sales per Capita)