Dr. Richard Pan Introduces Special Session Legislation To Save Lives & Money Through a Tobacco Tax Increase

August 26, 2015

Sacramento, CA –Dr. Richard Pan joined a coalition of doctors, nurses, health care professionals, unions, advocates and patients today as he announced he introduced SBX2 13 Pan/Hernandez in the Special Session on Health Care.  Dr. Pan made the following statement on the bill which would increase California’s tobacco tax by $2 per pack:

“Tobacco use is the number one cause of preventable death in the United States and around the world, and yet we know how to win the fight against tobacco,” said Dr. Richard Pan, a State Senator representing Sacramento. “With every 10 percent increase in cigarette prices, youth smoking rates decline by about 7 percent.  With that in mind, it makes no sense that 32 other states have a higher tax rate than California. My bill would increase the per-pack cost by about $2 and would put California’s tobacco tax rate at 8th in the nation.  The money raised by the bill -- $1.5 billion in the first year alone –- will expand treatment for Medi-Cal patients with tobacco-related illnesses and support programs to prevent smoking.”

Dr. Richard Pan is a parent, small business owner, former UC Davis educator and pediatrician who represents Sacramento, West Sacramento, Elk Grove and unincorporated areas of Sacramento County in the state legislature and is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Public Employment and Retirement. As a legislator, Dr. Pan continues to practice medicine at WellSpace Health Oak Park Community Clinic, pursuing his passion for working with families to build healthier communities.

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