During the nail-biting presidential election Tuesday night, most viewers momentarily forgot about the propositions and amendments being voted upon on ballots across the country. One of these was Proposition 56, which would decide on a new tobacco tax for California nicotine products. Four years ago, California voters rejected a $1 per pack increase in tobacco tax, but this election did not find tobacco users so lucky.
With 63%-for and 37%-against, Proposition 56 has been approved by California voters and will be put into effect for the 2017-2018 fiscal year. This new tax will increase California’s tobacco tax by $2 per pack of cigarettes.
The current tax is only 87 cents per pack (the national average is around $1.50) and hasn’t been raised since 1999. However, with the passing of Prop 56, this brings the new total tax to $2.87 per pack of cigarettes in the state of California.
Where the Money is Going
Annually, this new tax is expected to raise $1.4 billion for health care, research, and smoking prevention.
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, Medi-Cal will receive between $710 million and $1 billion of this revenue; schools will receive $20 million for tobacco prevention education; and 5% will go towards medical research of tobacco-related diseases at the University of California.
I, and most other vapers have been keeping an eye on how this proposition will affect vaping products. Unfortunately, Proposition 56 will affect vapers who don’t even touch traditional cigarettes. This measure will impose tobacco taxes on vaping products that contain nicotine.
In addition to the federal government increasingly regulating vaping products, this extra tax hike of various tobacco/nicotine products has been sweeping the nation in different states as vaping becomes more popular.
At this point, it looks like most states will eventually pass some sort of regulations on vaping, as well as raising the taxes on vaping products, regardless of whether they contain nicotine. According to the FDA regulations, vaping products are going to be considered tobacco products and will be taxed and regulated as such.
Vape.net will be sure to keep you updated as we learn more.