Daily 49er

On the propositions: Proposition 56

Cigarette Tax to Fund Healthcare, Tobacco Use Prevention, Research, and Law Enforcement Initiative.

Michaela Kwoka-Coleman, News Editor

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Voters will be deciding whether or not to increase taxes on tobacco products and electronic cigarettes this November.

If passed, Proposition 56 would increase taxes on cigarettes by $2 a pack, with similar taxes on other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco and electronic cigarettes.

California’s current tax of $0.87 per pack of cigarettes goes to the General Fund, which sponsors tobacco prevention, environmental protection, health care services for low-income people, breast cancer research and screenings as well as early childhood development programs.

Revenue from raising the tax to $2.87 per pack would help fund physician training, Medi-Cal, prevention and treatment of dental diseases, tobacco use prevention and research into cancer, heart disease, lung disease and other tobacco-related diseases.   

Those who support the bill, including California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, the California Democratic Party, the California League of Conservative Voters and the American Lung Association in California, argue that the proposition would reduce tobacco-related health care costs.  

They also say that the proposition will curb youth smoking by taxing electronic cigarettes, which tobacco companies promote to youth. Proponents have health concerns regarding the long term health effects of electronic cigarettes.

Opponents of the proposition, including Congressman Tom McClintock, the California Republican Party and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, say that if passed, revenue from the proposition would fund special interest groups and insurance companies more than smoking-related illnesses.

They also argue that the proposition would not allocate funds for public schools, nor would it fund youth tobacco prevention programs.

As of Oct. 20, those against the proposition had raised $66,532,474 and those in favor had raised $30,303,933.  

*This article is part of a weekly series informing students on the propositions up for vote on the November ballot.

**All information comes from Ballotpedia.com, a nonprofit organization that provides nonpartisan information on American politics and elections.

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