After the outcome of the general election from November, California decided to raise the tax on cigarette packs by $2. The law officials tripled the previous tax of 87 cents. Therefore, smokers will have to pay a tax of $2.87 for a cigarette pack.
After embracing this tax rise, California achieved the ninth place in the ranking of the highest taxes on cigarettes in the United States. This will most surely affect the great population of smokers from California, since the state has the biggest population in the country. However, the wallets of the smokers might not be the only ones affected by this tax increase.
How will this affect smokers?
California has the highest tax per cigarette pack in the area. All states which surround it have significantly lower taxes, such as $1.32 in Oregon, $1.80 in Nevada, and $2 in Arizona. Also, the Public Health Department of the state informs that many Californians are smokers.
More precisely, 39 million people living in the state engage in this habit. Therefore, the officials estimated that the tax revenue from cigarettes would reach $1.4 billion only during the first year. However, some of the smokers might try to go and purchase their cigarettes from the nearby states.
The statistics show that around one person in nine is a smoker in California. This means that more than a third of the citizens should have voted against this rising tax bill. Nevertheless, the bill passed, even if it only had 64 percent of voters who had said yes. This proposed higher taxes not only on cigarettes, but also on some other products which contained tobacco.
What products does the tax rise include?
As mentioned above, the tax does not only concern cigarettes. It also includes “nicotine delivery devices”. These represent electronic cigarettes or vaping pens. Some other tobacco and nicotine products will see a separate raise.
For instance, chewing tobacco or cigars will get higher taxes via Proposition 46, which will come into action during summer. The tax rise on cigarettes and e-cigarettes came via Proposition 56.
All revenue which results from this tax increase goes to healthcare programs or anti-smoking associations. Officials think that an increased tax on tobacco leads to more people quitting smoking. They are optimistic about such an outcome and think that less Californians will decide to continue smoking after they start applying these measures.
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