New Oregon Laws: Taxes, Texting, Tethering And Tanning

By Chris Lehman

It will cost more to feed a nicotine addiction in Oregon in the coming year. And texting behind the wheel could result in a bigger fine. Those are just two of the new laws that will take effect when the clock strikes midnight New Year's Eve.

Call it the year of the "T." New Oregon laws on taxes, texting, tethering and teen tanning. First, the taxes. Cigarettes will cost 13 cents more per pack. The increase isn't enough to phase the smokers I spoke with in downtown Salem. Justin Miller says he goes through about three packs a week.

Justin Miller: "If it was drastic, I would care. Actually, if they increased it enough I would quit for sure, because of the cost."

The fine for texting while driving doubles in the new year, topping out at $500. Another new law will limit the amount of time someone can tether their dog outside. The restrictions are meant to prevent people from leaving their pet permanently chained up. Also in 2014, Oregon teens won't be able to head down to the tanning salon anymore, unless they have a note from their doctor. Supporters of the restriction say it’s aimed at preventing skin cancer. Opponents called it an unfair intrusion of government into private life.

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