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SCVNews.com | July 1: Tax on Tobacco Products Spikes Per Prop 56 | 06-28-2017
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Board of EqualizationThe California state tax rate on tobacco products other than cigarettes will increase from the current rate of 27.3 to 65.08 percent of the wholesale cost on July 1.

In November 2016, California voters approved Proposition 56, which increased the excise tax rate on cigarettes and expanded the definition of “tobacco products” to include little cigars, tobacco and nicotine intended for human consumption, and electronic cigarettes sold in combination with nicotine.

In keeping with California law, the Board of Equalization adjusts the tobacco tax rate annually during its April meeting.

In accordance with Revenue and Taxation Code section 30123(b), the BOE is required to annually calculate a tax rate on tobacco products that is equivalent to the combined rate of tax imposed on cigarettes ($2.87 per pack of 20, or $0.1435 per cigarette).

The tobacco products tax is imposed upon the first distribution in California, paid by the licensed tobacco products distributor, and based on their wholesale cost prior to any discounts or trade allowances.

The fiscal year 2017-18 Tobacco Products Tax Rate is based on the wholesale premium brand cigarette price as of March 1, 2017, as published by the Tobacco Merchants Association.

The new tobacco products tax rate will stay in effect through June 30, 2018.

Tobacco growing in a field. | Photo: Shayan Kamal.

Tobacco growing in a field. | Photo: Shayan Kamal.

Other tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigars, little cigars, smoking tobacco (including shisha), chewing tobacco, snuff, nicotine delivery devices (for example, e-pipes, vape pens, e-hookahs) sold in combination with any liquid or substance containing nicotine, and any products containing, made of, or derived from any amount of tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption.

Nicotine delivery devices sold independently, without nicotine, are not subject to the excise tax. This includes any battery, battery charger, carrying case, or other accessory used in the operation of a nicotine delivery device.

“Tobacco products” do not include cigarettes or any product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product or for other therapeutic purposes (for example, nicotine patches).

Additional information regarding the provisions of Proposition 56 is available online. For more information regarding cigarette and tobacco products taxes, read our Special Notice, visit our online Cigarette and Tobacco Products Tax Guide, or call the Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY:711) weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

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1 Comment

  1. Carl says:

    The health risks of e-cigarettes have actually been known for years because they emit synthetic fog generated the same way as AC electricity powered fog machines. The battery power source of e-cigarettes actually adds a horrific new health risk because they explode and burn. E-cigarettes are battery powered synthetic fog toys available with nicotine and flavors. They give adults desperate to quit smoking tobacco a false sense of harm reduction, plus children who never smoked tobacco are lured into substance abuse to taste and smell flavors, with visual thrills from the fog, addicting them to nicotine, and ultimately most of them start smoking tobacco also.
    The long term damage being caused by inhalation of e-cigarette emissions by both users and bystanders is already well known because they generate emissions/vapor with propylene glycol/glycerin heated by electric coils exactly the way special effects/theatrical artificial fog machines electrically heat propylene glycol/glycerin, and occupational safety authorities have known for over a decade that exposure to that synthetic fog is hazardous to both workers and audiences who inhale it.
    See: Smoke and Fog Hazards, By Michael McCann, Ph.D., C.I.H., Center for Safety in the Arts, 1991, University of Illinois Chicago;
    American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Volume 47, Issue 5, May 2005, Pages 411–418, Effects of theatrical smokes and fogs on respiratory health in the entertainment industry,
    Sunil Varughese MSc,
    Kay Teschke PhD,
    Michael Brauer ScD,
    Yat Chow MSc,
    Chris van Netten PhD,
    Susan M. Kennedy PhD
    First published:12 April 2005; Ontario Ministry of Labour, Fog and Smoke Safety Guideline for the Live Performance Industry in Ontario, Issued: August 2005, Content last reviewed: September 2012; Ontario Ministry of Labour, Guideline No. 9: Smoke and Fog | Safety Guidelines for the Film and Television Industry in Ontario, ISBN: 978-1-4249-9952-1, Issued: November 1990, Revised: June 2009, Content last reviewed: March 2011; Ontario R.R.O. 1990, Reg. 833: CONTROL OF EXPOSURE TO BIOLOGICAL OR CHEMICAL AGENT, under Occupational Health and Safety Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O.1, Versions current July 1, 2016, Table 1 Ontario Table of Occupational Exposure limits-Propylene glycol; Safe Stages by Theatre Alberta and Alberta Human Services.
    Minors have been major consumers of e-liquids/e-cigarettes when it has been known all along that they should not be handled by children. The warnings to consumers about emissions from propylene glycol heated by electric coils in fog machines have been available for decades on the Halloween fog liquid labels:

    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207508101847359&id=1433395014&set=p.10207508101847359&source=47&__tn__=R

    “This product is not intended for use by children.”:

    https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10207508161608853&id=1433395014&set=p.10207508161608853&source=47&__tn__=R
    Add to that the fact that e-cigarettes often inflict property damage (e.g. car fires), third degree burns and ballistic trauma when they explode; that they emit some of the same carcinogens and toxins in tobacco smoke; that they emit some toxins and carcinogens not even found in tobacco smoke (propylene oxide, chromium, glycidol), and enough is already known for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to block e-cigarette importation plus order e-cigarette recalls, and for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate nicotine e-liquid in e-cigarettes as tobacco products. Without waiting for action by those agencies, local and state governments plus hospitals, universities and companies can protect employees and the public by making vaping e-cigarettes illegal everywhere smoking cigarettes is already outlawed in their jurisdictions. The wording of “E-cigarette: an evidence update. A report commissioned by Public Health England”, sometimes attributed to the Royal College of Physicians, that said that “best estimates show e-cigarette are 95% less harmful to your health than normal cigarettes” is flimsy, and their “95%” statistic turns out to be a feeble guess, not a real percentage based on mathematics using data or measurements. E-cigarette peddlers initially gave their customers and bystanders a false sense of safety by claiming that e-cigarette emissions are just water, but as laboratory evidence has proved that to be false they now claim that it is safer than tobacco smoke because there is no ‘tar’, however even without tobacco smoke the nicotine itself is dangerous because it damages arteries and is a powerful neurotoxin. Nicotine is so poisonous that synthetic analogs of it called neonicotinoids are used as pesticides. Inhaling nicotine by either vaping e-cigarettes or smoking tobacco is like huffing bug spray. Finally, most people who vape e-cigarettes continue to smoke cigarettes anyway, resorting to e-cigs only when they are in places where smoking tobacco is not allowed. E-cigarettes are bogus harm reduction and a smoking cessation hoax.

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