SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Cigarette prices have shot skyward in California.
The state cigarette tax rose by $2 a pack on Saturday, more than doubling the previous price of 87 cents. Taxes also went up for other tobacco and vaping products.
Voters approved the tax increase in November. It’s projected to raise up to $1.4 billion a year.
Much of the money is earmarked for Medi-Cal, a health plan for people with low incomes jointly funded by the state and federal governments.
Anti-smoking groups say the higher tax will encourage people to quit smoking or never to start.
California lawmakers approved a spate of other anti-tobacco measures last year, including increasing the smoking age from 18 to 21.