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Ballot Initiative Would Triple Cigarette Taxes

Cigarettes

An initiative aimed at next year’s ballot to more than triple the tax on California cigarettes would raise at least $1.3 billion annually, with the money going to an array of health and other programs, according to the Legislature’s nonpartisan fiscal adviser.

The Legislative Analyst’s Office reported Monday that the proposal to add $2 in taxes to a pack of cigarettes would increase the per-pack taxes to $2.87, which would increase the total cost to nearly $9 per pack. The current average retail cost of a pack of cigarettes is nearly $6. Cheap Lucky Strike cigarettes may be bought online http://www.buycigarettes.eu/lucky-strike

Other tobacco products  also would be subject to higher taxes if the initiative was approved — including nicotine-containing e-cigarettes, which would be taxed for the first time as a tobacco product.

“The $2 per pack cigarette tax increase would lead to an equivalent increase in the tax rate on other tobacco products, which is currently equivalent to a $1.37 per pack tax on cigarettes,” the LAO reported. “The new tax rate on other tobacco products would be equivalent to a $3.37 per pack tax on cigarettes.”

The proposed initiative initiative, which if approved would take effect in April 2017, is supported by the California Medical Association, the California Lung Association, the Service Employees International Union and hedge-fund billionaire Tom Steyer, among others.

Currently, about $400 million is collected annually from tobacco taxes and distributed to state and local governments, including programs to further tobacco research and health care, the LAO said.

The money collected under the new plan, between $1.3 billion and $1.6 billion, would be used for existing healthcare programs and services, including ” tobacco-related prevention and cessation programs, law enforcement programs (and) medical research on tobacco-related diseases.”

The University of California would receive some $40 million annually to increase the number of primary care and emergency physicians. Currently, about 8,000 graduate medical students are trained at six campuses.

In the past, increases in cigarette taxes have been accompanied by declines in cigarette use, as smokers find the increased cost prohibitive. But some smokers also may turn to purchasing cigarettes online in hopes of avoiding the potential tax. “For example, consumers could avoid paying the new tax on e-cigarettes by purchasing untaxed e-cigarettes from Internet vendors,” the LAO noted.

California voters in recent years have twice rejected increasing cigarette taxes. A bill to boost cigarette taxes, SB 591 by Sen. Richard Pan, a physician, was derailed earlier this year in the Legislature.

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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S.F. Looks at Raising Minimum Age for Buying Tobacco to 21

Smoking Woman

San Francisco would become the second major city in the country, after New York, to raise the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21 under legislation to be introduced Tuesday by Supervisor Scott Wiener.

The policy has gained traction around the country, with New York City making the change in 2014 and the state of Hawaii adopting it earlier this year. Santa Clara County is also one of about 80 governments around the country that have raised the cigarette buying age to 21, the same threshold as buying alcohol.

An attempt to pass the same law in the California Legislature stalled this year.

Wiener authored the San Francisco legislation, which is co-sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar. The two were the lead backers of a failed effort to levy a tax on soda and other sugary drinks at the ballot last year and have often linked the soda and tobacco industries in their discussions about the importance of government regulating matters of public health.

“Cigarettes are one of the leading causes of death and illness in the country,” Wiener said. “We need to do everything in our power to reduce smoking, and when you make it harder for young people to access cigarettes, they smoke less.”

But even if Wiener and Mar secure the backing of their fellow supervisors and the mayor, they could be in for a rough road ahead. The Sonoma County town of Healdsburg passed the same legislation this summer, but said it wouldn’t enforce it after legal threats from the National Association of Tobacco Outlets.

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2015 in Tobacco Articles

 

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Labor Plays Politics on Smoking Bans

Smoking Woman

The LNP has welcomed Labor taking its lead on extended smoking bans throughout Queensland but fears the Palaszczuk Government is playing politics on an issues that could save lives.

Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle said while the LNP welcomed Labor following its lead on smoking bans, but had no previous plan to extend bans until a bipartisan parliamentary committee had endorsed the LNP’s Private Member’s Bill.

“LNP introduced a smoking ban bill in July and the Health and Ambulance Services Committee has already come back endorsing the LNP’s bill,” Mr McArdle said.

“If the Government has suggestions or amendments to our Bill we would be more than happy to sit down with the Health Minister and discuss them, but this apparent vindictive move from the Minister is just another example of Labor’s attempts to wipe clear any LNP policy in Queensland.

“This will achieve nothing other than delay the introduction of these vital laws.

“The Minister should get serious about providing real bipartisan support on an issue that could save lives.”

Mr McArdle said the LNP was the only party with a real plan to deliver solutions for a better, safer and healthier Queensland.

“The LNP has a strong track record in this field, having introduced the toughest smoking laws in Queensland Parliament when it was in government, including a ban on smoking on or within five metres of health facilities and school grounds,” he said.

“We believe more can be done to encourage young Queenslanders to not ever take up the habit which is why we introduced this latest bill.

“A healthy Queensland is a better Queensland and the LNP’s bill will go a long way to delivering just that.”

Cheap Camel cigarettes are available here: http://www.cigarettestime.com/camel/silver

 
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Posted by on November 11, 2015 in Tobacco Articles

 

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New Orleans: Bar Owners Have Different Opinions on Smoking Ban

Male Smoker

On April 22, when the clock struck midnight at Parkview Tavern, the bartender herded smokers outside, leaving only a few patrons inside as most of the crowd headed for the patio. It was a strange scene, the large crowd outside and the near-empty bar inside, but one that is becoming increasingly common in New Orleans.

Across New Orleans, bar owners and patrons say they’re seeing the same phenomenon — lively crowds outside and a near-barren barroom inside.

“Sometimes, I get here and there’s a huge crowd outside, and then I walk inside to find two people in here and then another crowd out on the back patio,” said T. Cole Newton, owner of Twelve Mile Limit in Mid-City, which went smoke-free in 2013.

The New Orleans City Council has passed a sweeping ban against smoking in most public places across the city, but exempts patios, courtyards, balconies and outdoor areas.

Many bars owners have responded by expanding outdoor seating, adding tables to sidewalks and squeezing a few more chairs into courtyards, even buying new televisions and speakers to face outside for football games. Some bars, such as Pal’s Lounge in Mid-City and Cajun Mike’s Pub and Grub in the Central Business District, are planning to add awnings to protect smoking patrons from the rain.

Pal’s has gone a step further: The bar allows patrons to place signs at the bar to reserve their seats for 10 minutes while they go out and smoke. People in New Orleans prefer to buy Monte Carlo Silver cigarettes from the web.

 
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Posted by on November 3, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

Multnomah County Weighs Increasing Minimum Age to Buy Tobacco

Smoking Young Woman

Public health advocates asked the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday to raise the minimum age to purchase cigarettes from 18 to 21.

The recommendation came as commissioners held their first public hearing to consider charging between $350 and $600 in licensing fees to retailers who sell tobacco products, including cigarettes, smokeless tobacco and electronic devices that vaporize liquid nicotine.

Many minors get cigarettes from friends who are over 18, but many don’t have social circles that expand to people over 21, some advocates told commissioners. About 95 percent of smokers become addicted by the age of 21, said Linda Roman, policy director of the Oregon Health Equity Alliance.

Commissioner Jules Bailey supported raising the age requirement. No other commissioner reacted to the recommendation during the hearing. Teenagers know where to buy cheap cigarettes.

“I think it only makes sense and we could save a lot of lives doing it,” Bailey said.

Hawaii is the only state that requires the minimum age to be 21, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Alabama, Alaska, New Jersey and Utah require the age to be 19.

Three out of four adults favor raising the minimum age, according to the CDC. That includes seven of 10 adult smokers who agree.

County health officials and anti-tobacco advocates have asked commissioners to establish stricter regulations on employers and retailers. In March, the county adopted a ban on the use of electronic cigarettes. In May, commissioners discussed sales tax options, and last month, they reviewed how other cities and counties operate license programs and how much they charge retailers.

Roman suggested four policies for the county to consider, including licensing requirements, minimum prices of cigarette packs, the new minimum age, and zoning requirements, such as keeping new retailers at least 1,000 feet from schools.

Revenue from licensing fees would pay for administration, enforcement and spot checks to ensure retailers follow state and federal laws, she said. It would also pay for education programs, in several languages, to retailers about selling tobacco and keeping the product away from children.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

Wisconsin 4th in Nation in Smoking Quit Attempts

Quit Smoking

A new CDC report shows Wisconsin is among the states with the highest percentage of residents who have tried to quit smoking. Those smokers may benefit from knowing that there is free help at their fingertips by calling 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or visiting the newly redesigned http://www.WiQuitLine.org.

CDC analyzed data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) for the years 2001-2010 and 2011-2013 to provide updated state-specific trends in quit attempts among adult smokers. During 2001-2010, the proportion of adult cigarette smokers who had made a quit attempt in the past 12 months increased in 29 states and the US Virgin Islands.

The states and territories with the highest proportion of smokers who reported a quit attempt during the preceding 12 months were Puerto Rico and Guam (76.4 percent), District of Columbia (64.4 percent), Connecticut (72.5 percent) and Wisconsin (71.3 percent).

The states and territories with the lowest proportion of smokers who reported a quit attempt during the preceding 12 months were Kentucky (56.2 percent), North Dakota (58.7 percent), West Virginia (59.7 percent), Iowa (59.8 percent) and Delaware (60.2 percent).

The Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line, established in May of 2001, is managed by the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) and is funded by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. It does not matter where you buy cigarettes http://www.buycigarettes.eu/donskoy/bright – you are invited to participate in the campaign.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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Smoke-free Beach Proposed by Pembrokeshire Council

Cigarette Butts on the Beach

Smoking could be banned on one of Pembrokeshire’s beaches after councillors voted to hold a formal consultation into the idea.

Pembrokeshire would be the first council in Wales to introduce a smoke-free beach.

A consultation will now be held to decide which beach should be used for a pilot scheme.

Councillors also voted to make the area’s playgrounds and sporting areas smoke-free, including e-cigarettes.

All 100 parks, sports grounds and playing fields owned or managed by Pembrokeshire council or community councils will have signs erected asking people not to smoke.

The main aim is to try and discourage young people from smoking, and to promote health and well-being. However, smokers say that the move will not make them stop smoking and they will continue to purchase cheap cigarettes.

Pembrokeshire is the last council in Wales to do this for play areas, but believes it is the first to include e-cigarettes in the ruling.

Cabinet members said the move was not a ban and admitted it would not be enforceable.

Smoke-free beaches are already common in some states in the US, and also exist in Canada, Mexico, Japan and Australia.

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2015 in Tobacco News

 

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