Friday, Jul 8, 2016
The Secretary of State officially confirmed the tobacco tax measure for the November 2016 ballot and announced that it will be Proposition 56. This is the result of efforts by the Save Lives California coalition, a partnership of health care and other organizations including Harbor Dental Society, CDA, which worked to get this life-saving initiative on the Nov. 8 statewide ballot.
The coalition gathered about 1 million signatures to qualify the measure for the fall ballot, and the qualification means more than enough signatures were validated to place the measure before voters. Called The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, the measure would raise California's cigarette tax (and all other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes), currently among the lowest in the country, by $2 a pack – from 87 cents to $2.87 a pack. Raising the cost of tobacco products is a proven way to prevent teens from becoming addicted to tobacco, save lives, improve health care and fund research to fight cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.
Specifically, Proposition 56 will fund:
- Health care and dental disease prevention programs, including Medi-Cal, Denti-Cal and the state oral health program overseen by California's dental director.
- Smoking prevention programs administered by the California Department of Public Health Tobacco Control Program and the Department of Education.
- Medical research on tobacco-related diseases including cancer, heart and lung disease through the University of California.
California currently spends $3.5 billion dollars each year treating cancer and other tobacco-related diseases through Medi-Cal and this measure will help offset those costs.
To sign up in support of the campaign, please visit yesoncatobaccotax.com.