Welcome to the new TOFCO website

October 4, 2010

Welcome, I would like say hello to old TOFCO and MAPLELEAFONLINECASINO friends who are reading this blog, I hope the new TOFCO website will rekindle contact with other old acquaintances and to make new friends among those of you who are just being introduced to us.Briefly, TOFCO, a statewide not-for-profit corporation representing businesses, community groups, county health departments, health care advocates and concerned Oregonians, has had a leading role in every major tobacco control effort in Oregon. The organization, founded in 1995, focuses on advocating for programs and policies that help quit tobacco, prevent young people from starting to use tobacco and protect all from secondhand smoke.

The tobacco control movement in Oregon has achieved considerable success with significant declines in tobacco use over the past 10 years. However, two new reports released in September by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that while the United States has made dramatic progress in the fight against tobacco, too many Americans still smoke and too many non-smokers – including more than half of all young children – are still exposed to secondhand smoke.

Tobacco use continues to be the leading cause of preventable death in Oregon and is associated with a number of diseases including multiple cancers, strokes and diseases of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Despite smoking’s well-known threats, 16 percent of high school students continue to smoke and declines in the state’s adult smoking rate have stalled. When coupled with the fact that tobacco use disproportionately harms populations that are vulnerable and disenfranchised -- Native Americans, African Americans, the disabled, the young and those with low income and education – it becomes clear that tobacco use is more than a health care issue. It is an issue of health disparities, health equity, and social justice.

We know how to end the tobacco-use epidemic. However, even with broad public awareness of the link between tobacco use and severe health and economic consequences, the tobacco control movement has not been able to motivate and mobilize citizens into advocating for the laws, programs and policies that can grind out tobacco use.

TOFCO is well positioned to lead this effort. There remains much to accomplish before America’s kids stop smoking, smokers have the help they need to quit and everyone is protected from secondhand smoke. Getting to this point will require the involvement of grassroots efforts in Oregon advocating alongside national, state and local organizations; so that policymakers who otherwise do not support tobacco-control policies will learn first-hand that they stand against the public tide and will be held accountable for it.
I ask that you consider becoming a part of this life-saving movement.

Brett Hamilton
TOFCO, executive director

Posted on October 4, 2010. News | Policy | Smoking Prevention

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