On November 19th the American Cancer Society (ACS) will hold its 40th annual Great American Smokeout, which encourages smokers to kick the habit.
This year, the organization and its affiliates are calling on Californians to support efforts to advance a $2 per pack tobacco tax increase in the state. According to an organization news release, California’s cigarette tax of $0.87 a pack is currently one of the lowest in the nation. Every state in the country except Missouri has raised its cigarette tax since California’s last hike in 1998.
Field Poll results released two weeks ago show overwhelming support for taxing and regulating electronic cigarettes with nearly three in four California voters (74%) favoring taxing e-cigarettes and vaping products to fund public education, research and law enforcement around tobacco products.
Save Lives California coalition, along with philanthropist Tom Steyer, has submitted an initiative to the State Attorney General’s office to increase the tobacco tax by $2.00.
According to the ACS, studies from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health show that 90% of smokers start as teens. In California, 21,000 kids get hooked on smoking every year. According to Tobacco Free Kids, 441,000 children now under 18 and alive in California will ultimately die prematurely from smoking.
“A tobacco tax is a win-win for the state,” said ACS Cancer Action Network California vice president, Government Relations, Jim Knox. “In addition to increasing revenue, we know that consistent and significant increases in tobacco taxes mean fewer tobacco users, fewer tobacco-related deaths and fewer youth who ever start the deadly addiction.”