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News Summary

State lawmakers try again to limit smoking.

Publication Date: 12/15/2006
  • Author:Kate Folmar
  • Publication:The Sacramento Bee

Despite failure of cigarette tax in election, legislators offer new bills

A month after voters rejected a ballot initiative to raise tobacco taxes, California lawmakers are shrugging off long odds and proposing new curbs on how much it costs Californians to light up and where they're allowed to puff.

At least three smoking-related bills have been introduced in the Legislature so far. One bill that could attract attention during the so-called year of health care would raise cigarette taxes by $1.90 a pack to generate almost $2 billion for children's health care and smoking-cessation programs.

Two other measures seek to limit the effects of second-hand smoke on nonsmokers. They would impose a fine of as much as $100 on anyone who smokes in a cars with children younger than 18, including on private property, and would make it illegal to smoke in state parks or on state beaches, where discarded cigarette butts can befoul the sand and water.