In California, the American Heart Association continues our campaign to pass Senate Bill 768. If passed, SB 768 would increase the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $2 to fund critical smoking prevention/cessation and other health care programs. Currently at 87-cents-per-pack, California has the 33rd lowest tobacco tax in the United States.
The AHA has joined forces with our public health allies to jointly conduct meetings with key legislators in their districts during the summer recess. The aim of these meetings has been to educate legislators about the importance of a tobacco tax, to stress the positive public health impact SB 768 would have on our communities and economy, and to bolster legislative support for SB 768.
Currently, SB 768 is awaiting action on the suspense file along with other tax-related bills to be revisited at a later date. The AHA believes it is extremely important for legislators to take a closer look at the benefits of passing such a policy in a timely manner instead of delaying the process. As an advocate you have the power to dramatically influence your legislators into making SB 768 a priority. We need your help to keep SB 768 progressing! If you are interested in meeting with your local legislator and advocating for SB 768 in the district, please contact Josh Brown, Grassroots Advocacy Director, at your earliest convenience. Your help is greatly appreciated, as we will have to fight to move this bill forward.