Californians may vote on cigarette tax hike

March 6, 2015

071210tobacco.1278953149A coalition of health groups and California lawmakers is proposing an initiative to raise the state tobacco tax by $2 a pack. [LA Times]

Democratic Senator Richard Pan has introduced a bill that would send the initiative to California voters. Two thirds of the Legislature and the governor must approve the bill, though, for it to become a ballot measure.

Pan, a physician, says the $2 cigarette tax hike would raise $1.4 billion annually. The funds would go to smoking prevention and research, as well as expanded health care services for Medi-Cal patients.

Currently, the state levies an 87-cent tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes, in addition to a federal tax of $1.01 a pack. If the proposal were to become law, the combined tax on a pack of cigarettes in California would increase from $1.88 to $3.88

Pan states that California currently has the 33rd highest state tobacco tax. His plan would put California’s tobacco tax rate at eighth in the nation.

Supporters of the proposal say they are planning a signature drive in case Pan’s bill does not get through the Legislature. Backers of the initiative say they will work to get the measure on the November 2016 ballot.

Attempts to raise the state tobacco tax have failed seven times since 2002.


Finally, more taxes on the poor. Between the lottery, alcohol, and tobacco tax those poor will pay their fare share .yet!

Mr. Holly

We can jJust add this in with the school lottery money and then everything will be fixed.


Do you want to see a tax crazy politician go crazy? Tell him cigarettes should be illegal.


I personally would like to see a 100% tax on everything I don’t do or use.


I have a better idea. Lets just call it an IDIOT TAX….do you see the potential?


How about stopping the fraud, waste and abuse being perpetrated by the corrupt politicians and bureaucrats in Sacramento.

All politicians should be required to wear NASCAR jackets so that we can know who their sponsors are.

the guy paso

I propose a $5 per post tax on those who post here and a $10 tax for reading each post.

It makes as much sense. Both are legal, why penalize a legal purchase$


To pay for the increased healthcare costs of smokers?


LOL. If you think this money is gonna go anywhere but some government officials pocket you have been had. Yes, you have been had.


You are so right, you would think with California and/or San Luis Obispo city/county always wanting to clean up the environment by now they would have made cigarettes illegal, especially with all the stories about picking up butts at the beach and such, but we all know why they will never do this…… $$$$$$$ to keep feeding the beast, but thank goodness they got rid of those terrible plastic bags, they are so bad for wildlife in the ocean, but fish need a good cigarette butt? Hypocrites every single one of them.


HA! Fear not Marcus, I am not fooled!

It would be crazy to believe the government would ever actually use fees to offset the source of increased healthcare costs smokers account for.

Rest assured, I am not Dave.

I am also not crazy.


Good idea, guy. With your new tax, people would stop reading CCN. That’s exactly what they want to happen with cigarettes.


I’m not sure why only $2? Why not more? Let’s face it, there’s no end to what reasons you could come up with for taxing cigarettes. Plus, I think the poor – who are the most likely to pay for this – should pay their fair share.

Rich in MB

I’m all for it, but why stop at $2 a pack.

If we want to be serious about it, lets just slap on a $5 or $7 tax per pack and really stomp it out, plus think of all the money we will get to save the children!

Next…Lets put on a $1 per 12oz of Beer.

Ya…that’s it….then $1 per bag of salty high fat and cholesterol chips, they kill more than Tobacco!

Next up…sugary sodas $1 per 12oz portion….now we are really helping people.

But why stop there, Pizza is fatty, so slap on a $1 per Pie Healthy Choices Tax…BOOM, think of all the lives and obesity we prevented.

Then once we get the people eating and drinking exactly how we want…we lower the boom and limit people to 2000 to 2500 calories per day. If you eat more than that, you pay a Tax…fee….you get it.

Folks…when will you wake up and stop giving control over your measly lives to the Government who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you more than how much tax money they can make from you!?!

The road to tyranny is paved with good intentions.

Theo P. Neustic

Excellent. They don’t give a fig about the people, it’s all about money.