Tobacco Center Faculty Blog

May 29, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Philip Morris and Reynolds American's "third party" spokespeople are talking out of both sides of their mouths on whether or not Prop 29 is "inflexible." 

On one hand, in the No on 29 ballot argument they criticize Prop 29 as "Establish[ing] another flawed auto-pilot spending mandate" that "createsan unaccountable, government bureaucracy"  filled with political appointees" because the Legislature has no control over the use of the funds for the first 15 years.

But then, in response to the CDC's report that most states are not appropriating the CDC's recommended levels of support for tobacco control, the No campaign told the Sacramento Bee, "said the CDC study just proves government can't be trusted with more tobacco tax money."

May 29, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Many people have been asking me why the Yes on 29 people have not been running an ad directly confronting Philip Morris and Reynolds' claims about the initiative.  I have certainly shared that view.

Well, the Yes people now have released such an ad.  Check it out here.

May 29, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Many people have been asking me why the Yes on 29 people have not been running an ad directly confronting Philip Morris and Reynolds' claims about the initiative.  Well, the Yes people now have release such an ad.  Check it out here.

May 25, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

John Maa, Regis Kelley and I are in a new Yes on 29 ad.  Check it out by clicking here.

Per UC policy we are speaking as individuals, not as representatives of the University.  (The Regents, who do speak for UC, have endorsed Prop 29.)

 

May 24, 2012

Stanton A. Glantz, PhD

Because current cigarette taxes are so low in California, cigarettes are cheaper here than in the US as a whole.

According to The Tax Burden on Tobacco (page 182) in 2010 the average pack of cigarettes in California costs $5.374 compared to$5.554 for the US as a whole.  The low price in California reflects the tobacco companies' success in keeping taxes in California; total taxes only comprise 35.0% of the price of a pack of cigarettes compared to 44.2% for the US as a whole.

Cheap cigarettes promote smoking.

Passing Prop 29 would raise the fraction of the price that is tax to a bit above the national average, 45.2%, assuming Philip Morris and Reynolds pass the tax through to consumers. 

Of course, the price increase might be more than the $1 tax increase because the cigarette companies often increase the wholesale price at the same time taxes go up so the companies can maintain or increase revenues despite declining consumption.  That allows the companies to get the cash while smokers blame the government.

Pretty clever.

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