The Facts

The California Healthcare, Research And Prevention Tobacco Tax Act Of 2016

Proposition 56, the California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016, will increase California’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase on products containing nicotine derived from tobacco, including e-cigarettes. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Lung Association in California and American Heart Association support this initiative because taxing tobacco saves lives by getting people to quit or never start this deadly and costly habit. Tobacco companies oppose this initiative for the same reason. Prop 56 will:

Protect children.

Thousands of youth become addicted to tobacco each year.1 Now tobacco companies are targeting kids with candy-flavored electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. It has been proven that higher tobacco taxes reduce teen smoking.2

Saves lives.

Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in California.3 This initiative will save lives by preventing kids from getting hooked on tobacco, improving health care, and fighting cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.

Asks smokers to pay their fair share to improve health care and fight cancer.

This is simply a user fee on those who continue to use tobacco. It will mean smokers help pay for cancer treatment, smoking prevention, health care, and research to fight cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.

 

This initiative will save lives.

Cancer and other tobacco-related diseases kill more people than car accidents, guns, alcohol, illegal drugs, and AIDS combined.4 This $2 per pack user fee on tobacco will save lives by preventing kids from getting hooked on tobacco, improving health care, helping people quit smoking, and researching cures for cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.

Increasing the tobacco tax will reduce youth smoking.

Studies show that 90 percent of smokers start as teens.5 Nearly 17,000 California kids get hooked on smoking every year and one-third of them will eventually die from tobacco-related illnesses.6 Now the tobacco industry is targeting kids for a lifetime of addiction with candy-flavored electronic cigarettes containing nicotine. Teen use of e-cigarettes grew 10 fold in the past five years.7 Teens who use e-cigarettes are twice as likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes.8
It has been proven that higher tobacco taxes reduce teen smoking, yet California’s tobacco tax is among the lowest in the nation. For every ten percent increase in the cost of a pack of cigarettes, teen smoking drops by up to 7 percent. This initiative will prevent more children and teens from becoming addicted to nicotine.

This user fee asks smokers to pay their fair share to improve health care and fight cancer.

Because of smoking, California taxpayers spend $3.5 billion dollars each year on treating cancer and other tobacco-related diseases through Medi-Cal.9 The majority of funds generated by this tobacco tax will be used to improve existing health care programs, prevent smoking, and fund research into cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.

Tough transparency and accountability measures will prevent waste and keep Sacramento bureaucrats and politicians from diverting funds.

This initiative protects our interests by prohibiting bureaucrats and politicians from using the funds raised through this tobacco tax for any purposes other than those explicitly laid out in the proposition. It strictly limits administrative spending to no more than 5 percent of the revenue generated by the tax. It also requires biennial audits by the nonpartisan State Auditor and that reports be made available to the public.