Aug 27, 2015 12:04 PM by News Staff
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A bill to raise California's cigarette tax by $2 per pack has been introduced in the state Legislature.
Sen. Richard Pan introduced the measure Wednesday during a special session on health care. It would raise the tax from 87 cents per pack to $2.87 and also would apply to electronic cigarettes.
California's tobacco tax hasn't changed since 1998 and is well below that of some 30 other states.
A Field Poll released Wednesday found that about two-thirds of California registered voters surveyed favored a $2-per-pack tax hike.
Supporters say it will reduce some of the 40,000 tobacco-related deaths a year in the state and raise $1.5 billion in its first year for state health care services.
Supporters say if the hike doesn't pass the Legislature, they'll try a ballot measure.
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