California Cigarette Tax Hike

March 20, 2009 11:32:10 PM PDT
The price for a pack of cigarettes is about to go up. A new tax goes into affect April first. But if state lawmakers get their way, that hike will be just the beginning.If this new bill passes it will be the first time the state has raised the price of tobacco in ten years. Smokers we spoke to said maybe this is what it will take to help them quit.

It's a drag for some smokers but April 1st the price of cigarettes will rise 62-cents a pack due to a new federal tax. Couple that with a newly proposed $1.50 state tobacco tax increase and that favorite pack of smokes could run you an extra $2.12.

These smokers actually welcome the opportunity to quit and see any increase as a nudge to try and end the addiction.

Susan Pearman with the San Joaquin Valley Health Consortium creates tobacco free policies at schools, and for public places. She supports any tax increase on tobacco.

Plastered on Pearman's walls are posters warning smokers and tobacco users of the dangers ? to remind users their addictions can kill.

Money raised from the proposed state tax will fund cancer research, target underage smoking and help California crawl out of debt. However there are some who say no health warnings or price hikes will keep an addict away from what they crave most.

The senate bill looks to raise nearly 1.2 billion dollars with this tax. If it were to pass California would be the fifth highest taxed state in the U.S.

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