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Making the most of a cigarette tax hike

Making the most of a cigarette tax hike

A bill that would more than triple the California cigarette tax was gaining little traction in the Legislature until it received a push forward from Gov. Jerry Brown's special legislative session on funding healthcare for the poor. The additional $2-per-pack tax imposed by the bill would initially raise $1.5 billion a year. A well-crafted cigarette tax is a thing of beauty. Not only does it raise revenue, but it helps reduce smoking rates and deters teenagers from developing a cigarette habit, preventing many premature deaths. California, whose cigarette taxes are in the bottom third nationwide, is overdue for an increase. But more than six months after the bill's earliest...

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