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Big jolt to state economy with new tax on cigarettes
Date:2/6/2012

A new UCSF analysis has found that a state ballot initiative to increase the cigarette tax would create about 12,000 jobs and nearly $2 billion in new economic activity in California.

The study found that the new tax would have a significant effect on the state's overall economy because Californians would smoke less and spend their money in other ways.

The initiative, the California Cancer Research Act (CCRA), is on the statewide June 5 ballot. If the measure is approved, state cigarette taxes would rise by $1 a pack, generating an estimated $855 million a year for anti-smoking education programs, medical research, and tobacco law enforcement.

"The primary impact to the California economy, besides the effect on health care, is that people will smoke less and send less money out of state,'' said study author Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, a professor of medicine at UCSF and director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education based at UCSF.

Currently, approximately 80 percent of money spent on tobacco products is exported to out-of-state tobacco manufacturers and farmers. No tobacco is grown in California and no cigarettes are manufactured here.

Under the legislation, 60 percent of funds generated by the new tax would go to cancer research and to address other tobacco-related diseases, 20 percent toward tobacco cessation and prevention programs, and 15 percent toward facilities and equipment for health services and research. The remainder would go to law enforcement to reduce cigarette smuggling and tobacco tax evasion, and to administer the tax.

The state's independent Legislative Analysts' Office has calculated that the new tax could save more than 100,000 people from smoking-related deaths.

On September 15, 2011, the UC Board of Regents endorsed the initiative. UC campuses are allowed to use their resources to objectively evaluate a ballot measure's impact and to provide educational
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Contact: Elizabeth Fernandez
elizabeth.fernandez@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert  

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