After the failure of bills that would have raised California’s tobacco tax to $2 per pack, voters are being urged to take the matter into their own hands.
A petition drive has been launched by California health officials in an attempt to qualify a new cigarette tax for the November ballot.
According to a report from the Los Angeles Times, the newly launched petition is an attempt by health officials to do what legislature failed to do: increase cigarette tax from 87 cents to $2 per pack. Health officials argue that this tax would reduce smoking and deter teens from starting, while also raising money to support anti-smoking campaigns and medical research, as well as to expand treatment for Medi-Cal patients.
The proposed tax increase would not only effect cigarette tax, but also electronic cigarette tax. This amendment is stirring up great debate in the vapor industry, as it may turn consumers away from vapor products, back to cigarettes.
The Los Angeles Times also reported that California Senator Richard Pan and state superintendent of public instruction, Tom Torlakson are both in favor of the measure. The issue is also being supported by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association and the California Medical Association.
For the tobacco tax increase proposal to be qualified for the November ballot, the petition must collect 585,407 signatures from registered voters by June 13.