November 8 Ballot Measure Lines the Pockets of Special Interest Groups,
Does Little to Help People Stop Smoking
SACRAMENTO, Calif., September 13, 2016 – Proposition 56 is flawed, imposing a heavy tax on California’s small businesses and will kill tens of thousands of local jobs, according to Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56, a recently formed ballot committee sponsored by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) to oppose the November 8, 2016 state-wide measure.
“At a time when California’s smoking rate has dropped to the second lowest of any state, special interests groups are seeking yet again to line their pockets through a regressive sin tax, extending a disproportionate astronomical tax to vapor products that only makes it harder for smokers to consider these devices as alternatives to combustible cigarettes,” said Kari Hess, small business owner and co-president of the Northern California chapter of the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association.
Under the proposed measure, vapor products will be subjected to a whopping $10 tax,* while the tax on a pack of combustible cigarettes may increase to $2.87. Californians should vote “NO” on Prop. 56 because:
- 56 Will Hurt Small Business and Kill Jobs, making vapor products so expensive that California’s 3.8 million smokers will be less likely to consider them as alternatives to combustible cigarettes – forcing the many small businesses that comprise the vapor industry with the tens of thousands of people they employ – to fire staff, relocate or even close down.
- 56 is Bad for Public Health, implying that the harmful health effects of tobacco are similar to those of vapor products and will only push people back to smoking cigarettes. Millions of former smokers in California and around the world already have switched to vaping, which science says is more than 95 percent less harmful than combustible tobacco.
- 56 Lines the Pockets of Special Interest Groups, protecting inefficient programs that are losing money from declining tobacco tax revenues as smoking consumption rates continue to fall – including paying health insurance companies up to $1 billon for treating the very same patients they already treat today.
- P 56 Will Cheat Schools Out of at Least $600 Million, amending the state constitution to divert education funding while not one penny of the new tax money will go to improve K-14 public schools.
- 56 is a Regressive “Sin Tax” That Doesn’t Work, setting a disastrous precedent for more industry-specific taxes, also creating a funding shortfall for Medi-Cal that millions of needy Californians rely upon.
- 56 Does Little to Help Stop Smoking, with only 11 percent of new tax money going toward programs to treat smokers or stop kids from starting.
“Prop. 56 is misleading to voters by falsely implying that the harmful health effects of tobacco are similar to vapor products,” continued Hess. “It is imperative that California voters understand the stark differences between vapor products and combustible cigarettes and vote NO on November 8.”
Editor’s note: More information on Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56, can be found by visiting: http://sfata.org/resources/flyers-and-graphics/.
*Based on an average wholesale cost of a 30 mL bottle of e-liquid.
About Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56
Protect Small Business and Smoke-Free Alternatives, No on 56, is sponsored by the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA), with funding by local California businesses, individual taxpayers and concerned citizens. Founded in 2012, the Smoke-Free Alternatives Trade Association (SFATA) is the largest trade association in the vapor products industry with more than 1,400 members and 28 chapters located across the country, representing online retailers, brick and mortar vendors, distributors, manufacturers, professional service providers, importers and wholesalers.