Deadline near for tobacco tax signatures

Dentists interested in signing petitions to qualify a ballot measure to increase the state's tobacco tax by $2 should contact their local component's executive director or legislative chair right away. CDA delivered petition forms to all local components, and those signatures must be returned to CDA by April 15.

The signature-gathering effort is part of the Save Lives California campaign, a coalition of health care organizations working to qualify the ballot measure to 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.

As a part of the campaign's final push, the campaign has provided a poster, which you can download here and print on standard 8.5 X 11 paper, that can be posted in your dental offices or elsewhere to encourage people to sign. For simplicity of use in your offices, the posters are designed to focus on the primary county from which you would be collecting signatures.

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 the appropriate county name filled in on separate forms.
  3. The person collecting signatures must fill out the "circulator" information at the bottom of the form or the entire form is void.

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.

For additional information on how to assist with this process, contact CDA Public Affairs Manager Todd Roberson at todd.roberson@cda.org or 916.554.4982.

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