Tobacco tax signatures needed; deadline approaching

CDA and the Save Lives California coalition urge dentists across the state to sign petitions to qualify a ballot measure to increase the state's tax on tobacco products by $2. The campaign now has one month remaining to collect signatures.

CDA delivered petition forms to all local components, and those signatures must be returned to CDA by April 15. Every signature collected by CDA members -- including colleagues, family and friends -- saves critical resources needed to defeat the tobacco industry's campaign. The Save Lives California campaign goal is to collect 200,000 signatures from volunteer efforts.

There are three critical steps to the signature-gathering process:

1) All signatures must be from California registered voters.
2) All signatures on an individual petition form (each of which has eight signature lines) must be from residents of the same county, based on the address they are registered under. Anyone collecting signatures from people from multiple counties needs separate forms with the appropriate county name filled in.
3) The person collecting signatures must fill out the "circulator" information at the bottom of the form or the entire form is void.

The ballot measure will increase California's tobacco tax, which has not been increased since 1998, by $2 per pack (from 87 cents, which is among the bottom third of states, to $2.87) with an equivalent tax on other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes.

Tobacco use is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in California and increasing the tax will help prevent and reduce tobacco use. The measure will also generate revenue for critical state health care programs, prevention and research, including funding for the state's oral health program overseen by the new state dental director, an unprecedented dedicated funding source for this program.

Members should contact their component executive director to sign the petition or legislative chair for more information on how to assist with this process. For additional information, contact CDA Public Affairs Manager Todd Roberson at todd.roberson@cda.org or 916.554.4982.

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CDA and the Save Lives California coalition are encouraging dentists across the state to take action by signing a petition to make sure the ballot measure to increase the state’s tax on tobacco products by $2 per pack qualifies for the November ballot. CDA has delivered petition forms to all local components to help collect signatures. Every signature that CDA members can collect saves vital campaign resources that the coalition will need to counter the tobacco industry.

CDA and the Save Lives California coalition have launched the signature-gathering phase of a ballot measure campaign to increase the state's tax on tobacco products by $2 per pack. The coalition will have until April 26 to collect the required amount of signatures to qualify the "California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Act of 2016" for the November ballot and the campaign has a comprehensive program to ensure enough signatures are collected. CDA will be reaching out to components and grassroots leaders to provide members with an opportunity to sign the petitions to help qualify the measure.