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CALIFORNIA IN BRIEF : SAN FRANCISCO : Cigarette Sales Drop as Tax Income Soars

June 28, 1990|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Cigarette sales have dropped 14% and state tobacco tax revenues have jumped 201% since California voters approved a tobacco tax hike more than a year ago, the American Lung Assn. announced. "Proposition 99 is doing exactly what the tobacco industry feared most," Steve Harmon, president of the American Lung Assn. of California, said in a prepared release. "It is leading to a significant reduction in smoking." The state cigarette tax was increased from 10 cents a pack to 35 cents per pack by Proposition 99, which voters approved in November, 1988. The sales tax took effect Jan. 1, 1989. Since that time, cigarette sales dropped from about $2.54 billion in 1988 to $2.18 billion in 1989, while the state's tobacco tax revenue soared from about $253.8 million in 1988 to $764.4 million in 1989. Proposition 99 tax revenues are earmarked for anti-smoking programs, medical research and health care.

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