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American Cancer Society advocates higher taxes

American Cancer Society advocates higher taxes

POSTED October 26, 2016 9:38 a.m.
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Editor, Ceres Courier,

Sorry, your math isn't any better than your reasoning. There are 17 ballot measures - not 16.

Prop 56 will save tens of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in healthcare costs ....and taxes.

Tobacco use inflicts immense damage on everybody - even if you don't smoke.

Tobacco costs Californians $13 billion a year in healthcare costs and another $10 billion a year in lost productivity.

Taxpayers not immune. California taxpayers spend nearly $4 billion a year treating Medi-Cal patients for tobacco-related disease.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death - killing more than 40,000 Californians a year. This is more than guns, alcohol, AIDS, car crashes and illegal drugs combined!

Raising the tax is the single most effective way to reduce tobacco use according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the World Health Organization and the Institute of Medicine. Yet CA has one of the lowest tobacco taxes in the nation. We're 37th among the 50 states. And one of only three states that has not raised its tobacco tax this century. Forty-seven other states have raised their taxes 130 times since we last raised our tax in 1998.

Long overdue measure to save lives, protect kids and save taxpayer dollars. And if you don't smoke - you don't pay.

Jim Knox ,
Vice President, Government Relations-California,
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc.

(Editor's note: The column did not justify nor endorse tobacco use but did express an opinion that the government has no right to add an unfair tax burden on legal products and that taxes are not a good or right way to modify behavior. Should we start adding excessive taxes on fast food, cars and guns to try to prevent deaths? Of course not).


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1 comment
jolady: 1 year, 5 months ago

Prop. 56 is imposes a disproportionate tax on vapor products, an estimated $10 tax on one bottle of e-liquid, compared to a $2 increase on one pack of cigarettes. This disproportionate tax increase will make vapor products so expensive that California’s 3.8 million smokers will be less likely to consider them as alternatives to combustible cigarettes.
And the many small vapor businesses - nearly 2,500 - that comprise the industry in the state, , will likely be forced to lay off employees, relocate or even close down.

Millions of former smokers in California and around the world already have switched to vaping, which science says is more than 95 percent less harmful than combustible tobacco, including the Royal College of Physicians, one of the world’s leading medical institutions, who have endorsed vaping as a harm a harm reduction option.

California’s smoking rate has dropped to the second lowest of any state, thanks in part to vapor products. And claims that this tax will protect minors couldn’t be anything further from the truth because vapor products are only sold in age-verified venues and the legal age to vape in California is now 21 years old.

Despite what proponents of this measure may claim when it comes to underage use, the vaper's average age is 39, and recent data from the National Institute of Health’s "Monitoring the Future" survey found decreases in teen smoking and e-cigs over the last two years.

If passed, Prop. 56 has the potential to destroy the vapor industry, leaving millions of smokers (and non-smokers) with one less choice in available options/tools to quit smoking.

VOTE NO on 56

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