It's the first time in 18 years that California has voted on a tax increase for tobacco products.
Anti-smoking activists in the state of California may be one step closer to raising the taxes on e-cigarettes in November.
Californian residents will prepare to vote for or against Proposition 56 which, if passed, will see California as the fifth state to tax e-cigarettes after North Carolina, Kansas, Minnesota and Louisiana.
E-cigarettes have fast become a popular alternative to regular harmful cigarettes and has been seen as a healthier way to smoke and a gateway to quitting altogether. However, the long-term risks of inhaling the vapour are still uncertain and some people, particularly the young, can take up the habit despite not having smoked before.
The aim of the anti-smoking activists is to increase the tax in order to put people off spending money on the industry and for those who continue to pay will have the extra tax put towards health care services for poor people, invest in cancer research and environmental protection. If voted ‘yes’ the tax will be raised by $2 on all cigarette products both regular cigarettes and e-cigarettes.
Proposition 56 is supported by many health experts, medical groups and educators who believe the advertizing strategy of the e-cigarette companies has been purposefully aiming their products towards younger people by using candy flavors together with cartoon characters such as minions and Disney images.
Despite this, the vaping industry stress that their products are a better alternative to smoking and has allowed people to quit their harmful cigarette habits and adding a tax similar to tobacco will stop people from affording to switch over to healthier vaping solutions.
It’s been 18 years since California has voted on raising taxes on cigarettes and according to a report in The Washington Times, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids stated that for every 10 percent tax increase on cigarette prices, there is a 5 percent decline in the amount being bought overall.