SMOKING LAWS: CA LAW TAKES EFFECT; NJ TAX INCREASE
With the beginning of the new year, California became "theThis is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
first state in the nation to ban smoking in bars," the Sacramento
Bee reported last week. A law passed in 1994 banned indoor
smoking at workplaces across the state, but "[b]ars and bingo
parlors were given a temporary exemption," which ended January 1
(Davila/Hatton, 1/1). The law requires bars "to post 'No
Smoking' signs at all entrances," and ask patrons who smoke to
leave the premises. Establishments found in non-compliance with
the law face fines starting at $100 with the first offense and
rising to as much as $7,000 if more than three violations are
discovered in one year (Lindelof, Sacramento Bee, 12/27).
According to the New York Times, the "law's critics and smoking
advocates say the ban is Draconian and unenforceable and that
bars are unlikely to keep patrons from smoking." Supporters,
however, "say the fines included in the law will insure it will
be enforced and experts say that it signals a new battleground in
the war over smoking" (Terry, 12/31).
GARDEN STATE TAX HIKE
New Jersey's tax on cigarettes rose 40 cents per pack
effective January 1. The money generated by the higher tax,
which doubles the previous per-pack levy, will be used to fund
the state's hospital charity care system and to finance school
construction (Wiggins, Bergen Record, 1/2). Click here for past
American Health Line coverage of the debate over the New Jersey
tobacco tax. If you don't have access to our keyword-searchable
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