Reduce tabacco use, save lives

The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (TMSA), signed by Oregon and 45 other states in 1998, is supposed to help Oregon recover from tobacco-related health care issues and the financial burden tobacco use has placed on our state. But the monies have never been used for their intended purpose. For the past decade, they have filled budget gaps.

Currently, $120 million of the TMSA funds are available to be allocated this biennium. A proposal by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and other leading health advocacy organizations suggests that the funds be invested as follows: $73 million for Oregon’s health care transformation and community care organizations, $35 million to children’s health and wellness and $12 million for reducing smoking.

Though all three aspects of the proposal are significant and would lead to health care savings and improved health outcomes for Oregonians, I would like to specifically applaud the organizations for championing investment in reducing tobacco use. My wife and I worked 11 years ago in state-supported, county-based programs to educate children and adults about the grave risks from smoking and tobacco use. My hero did this as a laryngectomee with no vocal cords (breathing through a hole in her neck). I lost Patty in 2003 to smoking-caused lung cancer. I know firsthand the devastation tobacco use has upon individuals and families. It has to stop! During this legislative session, our elected officials have the opportunity to pass legislation that would reinvigorate our state’s efforts to reduce tobacco use, save lives and money, and fulfill the intent of the TMSA. I hope you will join me in supporting a healthier future for all Oregonians and let our local legislators know of your support for this life-saving effort.

Eric Jones West Linn Vision Lead volunteer, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

Angels help with car mishap

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Two girls came to the aid of a Sharon Murphy after she lost her oil cap under her vehicle.

This is the story of my two angels last night. It was 9:30 at night, a slight drizzle in the air. I knew most of my friends were in bed (they turn into pumpkins at 9 p.m.) and I had not renewed my AAA roadside assistance.

On the way home tonight my car’s "check engine" light came on. I pulled off the freeway at Rite Aid and sure enough, oil was a little low. As I replaced the cap, I gave it a spin and instead of screwing on tight, it zinged off into the engine ... ding-ding- tink...

My bright yellow cap was now stuck somewhere inside the engine. As I searched with my flashlight, hoping to catch a glimpse of yellow, two girls came out of the store. Without hesitating, their arms got greasy as they felt for the cap. Both of them spent time under my car, on the wet asphalt ... searching. Finally, the bright yellow cap was returned to its rightful place and I was able to drive home.

Sharon Murphy

West Linn

Contract Publishing

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