PRINEVILLE, OR -- The Great American Smokeout is Thursday, to encourage smokers to kick the habit. It's also the day a new rule takes effect in Crook County, requiring tobacco retailers to post the contact information for the state’s quit line. County Tobacco Prevention and Education Coordinator Kris Williams says the timing is purely coincidental, "The County Court passed the ordinance in August – August 16th, actually." Unless deemed an emergency, ordinances take effect 90 days after approval, which puts it on November 16.
Williams tells KBND News the new rule is in response to public feedback, "We had done in our community a couple of surveys, recently, and one of them was of adult tobacco users. And, 50% of those smokers indicated that they were interested in quitting." She says most businesses reported they would to voluntarily post the information. However, "We found that there were a few retailers who were parts of chain stores that were not able to post anything in their stores unless it was a law."
There are about two dozen tobacco retailers in Crook County. The cessation help information will be posted with new state issued signs at the point of sale. "Currently, the state of Oregon requires tobacco retailers to post a sign that says, ‘the sale of tobacco products, smoking instruments and inhalant delivery systems to person under 21 years of age is prohibited by law.’ Just as part of that posting, we also put on there the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line
information." Oregon's "Tobacco 21 Law" limiting sales to those over 21, goes into effect January first.
More than 60 Crook County residents die each year as a direct result of tobacco use.