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California Smokers Face Major Price Hike On April 1

Photo by Paul Sancya AP

California voters snuffed out big tobacco on Election Day, by approving a $2 per pack increase in the tobacco tax.

The cost of smoking in California will rise on April, when the tobacco tax goes up by $2-a-pack.

California smokers will have to pay more for a pack of cigarettes starting April 1.

That's when the state's tobacco tax goes up by $2-a-pack.

California voters gave their thumbs-up to the tax increase last November when they approved Prop. 56.

Each pack of cigarettes will be taxed a total of $2.87. That gives California the ninth-highest tobacco tax in the nation.

The tax on e-cigarettes will be 27.3 percent of the wholesale price. The State Board of Equilization will likely raise the e-cigarette tax again on July 1.

Debra Kelley, with the American Lung Association, said the higher prices of e-cigarettes should have an effect.

“We know that youth are the most sensitive to price increases, so we really hope that this is going to be key to turn around this alarming trend of kids using e-cigarettes," she said.

The 2015 California Healthy Kids survey shows 12.2 percent of teens in the seventh to eleventh grades used e-cigarettes. That's the highest rate of any age group in the state.

According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, 7.7% of California youth smoke regular cigarettes.

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