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Speak Out: Virginia's Cigarette Taxes and California's Prop 29

Prop 29, which would raise cigarette taxes in California, appears to have failed by a very narrow margin. California's cigarette taxes remain low, but Virginians pay the least in cigarette taxes in the nation.

Update 8:15 p.m. - Early results seem to indicate that California's Proposition 29 has failed by the narrowest of margins -- 49.2 for and 50.8 percent against.

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Original Post - Noon, Wednesday, June 6

The vote Tuesday on a proposed $1-a-pack cigarette tax in California, Proposition 29, is still too close to call. Supporters of the increase are ahead by less than 2 percent (as of about noon on Wednesday), but some votes have not yet been counted.

The tobacco industry and proponents of the tax reportedly spent millions on ads in California. The tax money, if Prop 29 is approved, would support cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement, according to Ballotpedia.org.

As of Jan. 1 this year, California smokers were paying 87-cents per pack in taxes, so the $1 additional tax would more than double cigarette taxes there.

Californians pay almost three times as much as Virginians do in per-pack taxes. Virginia smokers pay just 30 cents per pack, the lowest tax rate in the nation. An effort in the state legislature to increase that failed in January.

New York smokers pay the most tax ($4.35 in taxes per pack) and the nationwide average for taxes on a pack of cigarettes is $1.46, according to TobaccoFreeKids.org

A recent study showed increasing cigarette taxes may help decrease smoking during pregnancy. The study will be released in the July edition of American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

If you lived in California, would you have voted for or against Prop 29? What do you think about Virginia’s cigarette tax rate? Vote in our poll or leave a comment.

angela June 06, 2012 at 06:24 PM
go for it maybe we will get to walk through a few less smoke clouds!
Jennifer June 07, 2012 at 01:14 PM
A $1 tax increase "would support cancer research, smoking reduction programs, and tobacco law enforcement" -- what's not to love about that!
Michael Clancy June 07, 2012 at 10:15 PM
California needs the 725 million to stay in the hands of. Those who earned the money. No more TAXES
Michael Clancy June 07, 2012 at 10:35 PM
PS I do not smoke cigaretts
xxxx June 07, 2012 at 11:16 PM
I dont smoke, but everytime you send taxes to goverment, they will wasefully spend it as usual and come back for more. Fighting cancer is a national problem and should be fought nationaly not on the back of Californian. No more taxes.....

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