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California says its long anti-tobacco campaign has paid off

Publication Date: 2005-01-26
  • Author:Liz Szabo
  • Publication:USA Today
California's 15-year anti-smoking campaign has dramatically reduced the burden of disease in the state, health officials said Tuesday.

High school smoking rates have fallen from 22% in 2000 to 13% in 2004 -- a rate far lower than the national average. Calif., Dept. of Health Services, via AP

Californians voted in 1988 to raise cigarette taxes by 25 cents a pack, with 5 cents going toward tobacco education, research and other programs. The law went into full effect in 1990, says Kim Belshe, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency. California banned smoking in most workplaces in 1995 and expanded the ban to include bars in 1998.

State health officials marked the 15th anniversary of the anti-cigarette law by releasing statistics showing the dramatic results of the legislation and campaign