Anti-Smoking Advocates Pressure Lawmakers To Increase Tobacco Tax
The American Cancer Society and other anti-smoking organizations are escalating efforts to encourage California lawmakers to nearly triple the state's tobacco tax, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.
The campaign cites data that 10 other states, including five with Republican governors, have increased cigarette taxes this year. California's tobacco tax currently ranks as the 32nd highest in the country.
Last month, Democratic legislators proposed a budget plan that would boost California's 87-cent tobacco tax by $1.50 per pack. However, Republicans thus far have rejected all proposed tax hikes.
Jim Knox, chief legislative advocate for ACS, said the $1.50 per pack increase could "help reduce teen smoking rates and save over $8 billion in health care costs associated with smoking." Knox added, "California hasn't raised the tax in over 10 years and it's about time that we do" (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 7/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.