Ban Would Halt Sale of Cigarettes in Machines
Byline: David Steves The Register-Guard
Gov. Ted Kulongoski wants to ban vending machines that sell cigarettes, saying such a move will block their access by underage, would-be smokers.
The governor's proposal to the 2009 Legislature is meant to eliminate one of the only ways that people can buy cigarettes without being checked for identification to prove they're 18 or older, said Kulongoski spokeswoman Jillian Schoene.
Currently, such vending machines are used to sell cigarettes in taverns, cocktail lounges, hotels and motels.
"It's just bringing these vending machines in line with the laws that everyone else who sells tobacco products have to play by," she said.
Schoene cited a state Department of Human Services survey that found 7 percent of eighth-graders who smoke reported obtaining cigarettes through vending machines. The majority reported getting cigarettes from friends: 61 percent from friends over 18, and 69 percent from friends younger than 18.
The proposal has the support of a coalition of health-related anti-smoking groups. In recent years they have pushed for tougher enforcement of Oregon's proof-of-age requirement for cigarette purchases at retail outlets.
Between 1995 and 2006, the percent of Oregon retailers that sold cigarettes to minors dropped from 39 percent to 11 percent, according to data from the state's ongoing undercover cigarette purchasing surveys. …