Highlights: CaliforniaFor more than 20 years, the American Lung Association in California has led California to forge new ground in combatting the harmful effects of tobacco use where we live, work and play. In 2013, the Lung Association again focused on two main policy priorities: (1) increasing the state's tobacco tax; and (2) creating smokefree multi-unit housing policies in California.
The American Lung Association in California continues its efforts to increase the state's tobacco tax both through the legislature and through the initiative process. Senate Bill 768 (Kevin DeLeon, D-Los Angeles) was introduced this year and was approved by several committees. Both the initiative and the bill will ensure funding for the state's tobacco control program as well as much needed revenue to improve access to healthcare, including the treatment of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease and other diseases related to tobacco use for low-income families and individuals through a $2.00 per pack increase in the tobacco tax. Currently, California taxes cigarettes at only 87 cents per pack - one of the country's lowest tobacco taxes, placing 33rd. Thirty states and the District of Columbia have cigarette tax rates of $1.00 per pack or higher, and California has not raised its tobacco tax since 1998. The fight to raise the tobacco tax in California will continue once the state legislature returns in January 2014, and the Lung Association will continue to lead the effort to ensure that children never begin to smoke, and adults have the needed resources to quit.
Also on the legislative front, the American Lung Association in California sponsored Assembly Bill 746 (Mark Levine, D-San Rafael), which would have prohibited smoking in apartment buildings and condominiums throughout California. Based on the growing momentum these policies are experiencing at the local level, this bill sought to protect the 5 million Californians in multi-family homes from drifting secondhand smoke. Although this bill was not approved this year, it received great support throughout the state and it will be revisited in 2014. The attention generated from this legislation helped push the issue forward, and highlighted the need for secondhand smoke protections in the place where people should feel safest, their homes.
As 2014 begins, so does a new legislative session with continued opportunities to focus the American Lung Association in California's efforts on strengthening the state's tobacco control program through an increase in the state tobacco tax and on advocating for smokefree multi-unit housing both statewide and locally. The Lung Association remains committed to collaborating at the local level in communities across California to pass strong and effective tobacco control laws where people live, work and play. Through this effort, we will continue to prevent kids from ever picking up their first cigarette, motivate current smokers to quit and fight the lung diseases that so often result from, or are exacerbated by, smoking.
California State Facts
|Economic Cost Due to Smoking:||$18,135,550,000|
|Adult Smoking Rate:||12.6%|
|High School Smoking Rate:||13.8%|
|Middle School Smoking Rate:||4.8%|
|Smoking Attributable Deaths:||36,684|
|Smoking Attributable Lung Cancer Deaths:||10,715|
|Smoking Attributable Respiratory Disease Deaths:||10,860|
Adult smoking rate is taken from CDC's 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System. High school and middle school smoking rates are taken from the 2010 California Student Tobacco Survey.
To Get Involved, Contact:
- American Lung Association in California
424 Pendleton Way
Oakland, CA 94621
- 510 638 5864
See How Other States Compare
Did You Know
2014 is the 50th anniversary of the historic 1964 Surgeon General’s report on smoking and health, which linked smoking to lung cancer and other deadly diseases for the first time.
A recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that about 8 million lives have been saved through tobacco control efforts since 1964, including 800,000 lung cancer deaths between 1975 and 2000.
Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the U.S., killing over 1,200 people per day.
Secondhand smoke kills almost 50,000 people each year.
28 states and Washington DC have passed laws prohibiting smoking in almost all public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars.
New York has the highest cigarette tax in the country at $4.35 per pack.
Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country at 17 cents per pack.
The average of all state plus the District of Columbia cigarette taxes is $1.53 per pack.
Alaska and North Dakota are the only two states that fund their tobacco control programs at or above the CDC-recommended level (in Fiscal Year 2014).
Massachusetts and Minnesota approved cigarette tax increases large enough to impact public health in 2013.
2 states – Indiana and Massachusetts – offer a comprehensive cessation benefit to tobacco users on Medicaid.
2 states – Alabama and Georgia – offer virtually no help with quitting to most tobacco users on Medicaid.
In 2009, the American Lung Association played a key role in the passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which gives the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authority over tobacco products.
The American Lung Association played a key role in airplanes becoming smokefree in the 1990s.
40 states and Washington DC spend less than half of what the CDC recommends on their state tobacco prevention programs.
States spend less than two cents of every dollar they get in tobacco-related revenue to fight tobacco use.
Each day, almost 3,900 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and more than 1,000 kids become new, regular smokers.
Each day, 3,000 kids try their first cigar.
Smoking costs the U.S. economy $263 million in direct health care costs and $266 million in lost productivity each day.
The five largest cigarette companies spent over $22.9 million dollars a day marketing their products in 2011.
The American Lung Association has been fighting smoking and tobacco use since the 1950s.
Smoking rates for Medicaid recipients are over 50 percent higher than the general population.
Only 4 states – Maine, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming – fund their quitlines at or above CDC-recommended levels.
A 2013 study of California’s tobacco prevention program shows that the state saved $55 in healthcare costs for every $1 invested from 1989 to 2008.
A 2012 study of Massachusetts’ comprehensive Medicaid quit smoking benefit found that Massachusetts saved $3 for every $1 spent helping smokers quit in just over a year.
Spread the Word
The American Lung Association’s annual "State of Tobacco Control" report was released nationwide on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.Learn More
Surgeon General’s Report
Despite the great progress of the past, in the last few years, tobacco control efforts have slowed and in some areas, even stalled.Learn More