Board of Supervisors Support Cigarette Tax Hike

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted today to send a letter to state officials in support of a $1.50-per-pack increase in California's cigarette tax.

SB 600 is authored by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Van Nuys, and co-sponsored by the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

California's current tobacco tax rate ranks 30th among all states, according to Supervisor Gloria Molina, who said the legislation would generate about $1.2 billion in new revenue in the first year of implementation.

Smoking costs California taxpayers about $4 billion annually in hospital care costs, according to Molina.

Her motion passed on a 3-2 vote, with Supervisors Michael Antonovich and Don Knabe voted against it without comment.

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