Smokers in California are in for some bad news — the government has decided to raise the price of tobacco products under Proposition 56. The change comes into effect from April 1.
Going forward, smokers will have to cough up some more bucks if they wish to continue using cigarettes. Retailers are anticipating a drop in cigarette sales once the new directive is imposed in the state.
Price Hike For Cigarettes In California
Thanks to people who voted in favor of Proposition 56 in November 2016, smokers will now have to pay an extra $2 for a pack of cigarettes. For some brands, the pack price will be almost close to $10.
The tax shows a 40 percent hike in the price of cigarette packs and extends to e-cigarettes as well. As for the cigarette cartons, the price has been hiked by $20. This tax levied by the government is the highest ever for cigarettes, since the implementation of tobacco tax in 1959.
The additional money collected through the price hike will be used to fund Medi-Cal and bring in more doctors. It will also be used to fund research projects for tobacco-related diseases and various other programs.
Smokers In For A Shock
From April 1, a 10-pack carton of cigarettes will set consumers back by an additional $28.70. The price rise has put some smokers in a dilemma and forced them to question the unhealthy habit.
"The reality is most people who smoke cigarettes don't enjoy smoking cigarettes. Two thirds of people who smoke would like to quit. And this offers a great opportunity to quit," explained Jim Knox, who is associated with the American Cancer Society.
Michael Whittington, a smoker, says that he is resolving to quit smoking after he finishes his current pack. The decision has been prompted by the fact that he cannot afford them post the price hike.
Retailers' Take On The Tax
Retailers state that the tax will hit the sales of tobacco products, but only for a while.
"Of course we're going to lose sales, but maybe only for a while," stated Doris Cruz, manager of Circle K store, which is located in Placentia.
She further explained that smokers will keep up the habit no matter what. Some people may cut down on the number, but the habit will continue. Cruz is not isolated in her opinion as Medhat Abdelmessih, a cashier at Sam's Smoke & Vape in Anaheim, echoes the thought.
Abdelmessih believes that cigarette sales will go down by 30 percent to 40 percent for the first few months. However, the sales will gradually pick up pace as smokers never end up quitting the habit.