Counties Want to Stop Teen Smoking, Build a Healthier California

Several county supervisors have signed on to endorse a ballot initiative in November that would increase the cigarette tax by $2.

The initiative is backed by Save Lives California, a coalition comprised of the California Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association, and other medical organizations.

The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 would raise California’s cigarette tax, currently among the lowest in the country, to $2.87 a pack. The price hike will be applied to all tobacco and tobacco-related products including e-cigarettes containing nicotine. Medical experts believe that this will help people stop smoking or at least prevent young people from starting.

“In November, voters can take action against the leading cause of preventable death in our state: tobacco,” said Tom Steyer, business leader and philanthropist. “With this initiative, we’re forging ahead to protect young people from deadly tobacco products and strengthen our health care system.”

Earlier this year the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to increase the cost of cigarettes to a minimum of $7 a pack. Additionally, numerous city officials have signed on to a growing list of elected officials endorsing the initiative, including four San Francisco Supervisors.

“Our coalition is proud of the growing list of local leaders who have signed on to support this life-saving initiative,” said Jim DeBoo, campaign manager for Save Lives California. “They know that it is up to all of us to fight tobacco addiction and teen smoking. This user fee on tobacco products will fight cancer and improve healthcare.”

The majority of the money from the initiative’s user fee would be used for health programs and research into cures for cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking and tobacco products.

Visit Save Lives California for more information about the tax, or to add your name.

A current list of supervisors and city officials endorsing the tax can be found below:

  • Jeff Smith, Lake County, District 2
  • Dan Gjerde, Mendocino County, District 4
  • Mark Farrell, San Francisco County, District 2
  • Jane Kim, San Francisco County, District 6
  • Scott Wiener, San Francisco County, District 8
  • David Campos, San Francisco County, District 9
  • Salud Carbajal, Santa Barbara County, District 1
  • Don Saylor, Yolo County, District 2
  • Luis Ayala, Councilmember, City of Alhambra, District 5
  • Ali Sajjad Taj, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Artesia
  • Darryl Moore, Councilmember, City of Berkeley, District 2
  • Lili Bosse, Councilmember, City of Beverly Hills
  • Fred Gaines, Councilmember, City of Calabasas
  • Edi E. Birsan, Councilmember, City of Concord
  • Jorge Marquez, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Covina
  • Andre Quintero, Mayor, City of El Monte
  • Dianne Martinez, Mayor, City of Emeryville
  • Nora Davis, Councilmember, City of Emeryville
  • Laura Friedman, Councilmember, City of Glendale
  • Ardy Kassakhian, City Clerk, City of Glendale
  • Graciela Ortiz, Mayor, City of Huntington Park
  • Kyle Miller, Mayor, City of La Habra Heights
  • Lena Gonzalez, Councilmember, City of Long Beach, District 1
  • Roberto Uranga, Councilmember, City of Long Beach, District 7
  • Andy Medellin, Councilmember, City of Madera, District 2
  • Mike Kasperzak, Councilmember, City of Mountain View
  • Jennifer Ray, Mayor, City of Nevada City
  • Marc Berman, Councilmember, City of  Palo Alto
  • Tom Butt, Mayor, City of Richmond
  • Jay Schenirer, Councilmember, City of Sacramento, District 5
  • Antonio Lopez, Councilmember, City of San Fernando
  • Jason Pu, Councilmember, City of San Gabriel
  • Magdalena Carrasco, Councilmember, City of San Jose, District 5
  • Teresa O'Neill, Councilmember, City of Santa Clara
  • Ted Winterer, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Santa Monica
  • Lesa Heebner, Councilmember, City of Solana Beach
  • Joseph Gonzales, Councilmember, City of South El Monte
  • Jorge Morales, Councilmember, City of South Gate
  • Michael A. Cacciotti, Mayor Pro Tem, City of South Pasadena
  • Alice Fredericks, Councilmember, City of Tiburon
  • Andrew Rodriguez, Councilmember, City of Walnut
  • Eric Ching, Councilmember, City of Walnut
  • James Toma, Mayor, City of West Covina
  • John Heilman, Mayor Pro Tem, City of West Hollywood
  • Ron Orenstein, Vice Mayor, City of Willits