More States Voting for Higher Tobacco Taxes
Four states will vote on whether to raise their tobacco tax in November: California (by $2), Colorado ($1.75), North Dakota ($1.76) and Missouri (15 cents). California currently has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the country: 87 cents per pack. If California voters pass Proposition 56 in November, the tax would go up to $2.87 a pack. Colorado citizens will vote on the Colorado Tobacco Tax Increase, also known as Amendment 72, which has been designed to triple taxes on cigarette packets. The current tax rate on cigarettes is 84 cents per packet, but the amendment would increase the tax to $1.75 per pack of 20.
Supporters of the measures hope to hit people hard enough in the wallet that they quit smoking, or never start.
As has been the history of anti-smoking zealots, it’s not really about helping people to stop smoking. You only have to follow the money, and you’ll find out that only 13 percent of the new taxes would actually help people quit. Of the $1.4 billion that Proposition 56 is expected to raise from the tax, 13 percent would go to the state’s cessation programs. The rest of the tax money would go to Medi-Cal, the state’s low-income health care program, which covers care for one in three Californians.
Proposition 56 would tax e-cigarettes, even though it’s pretty clear that vaping is far less harmful than smoking.