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SACRAMENTO: Proposition 56 (2016 ballot), tobacco tax increase/ tobacco industry: "Thwarting the Tobacco Tax"; also, "Philip Morris moves to soften blow of California cigarette tax for smokers" .... 

***Proposition 56 (2016 ballot),  tobacco tax increase/tobacco industry....

* New York Times ("California Today" - Mike McPhate):  "Thwarting the Tobacco Tax" - From the NYT:

The idea behind a recent tax increase on cigarettes in California was to nudge more smokers to quit: Hit them hard enough in the wallet, and some will conclude it’s just not worth it. But the tobacco industry has a secret weapon: discounts. Philip Morris, the maker of Marlboro, sent an email to its customers this month with the subject line, “What Prop 56 Means for You,” referring to the voter initiative that raised taxes by $2 a pack. It offered recipients three coupons for tobacco products every week through the end of June.

Public health experts say the discounting strategy has been a part of the tobacco industry’s playbook for decades as it has sought to safeguard profits. “The hope is that by buffering the price shock, fewer people will quit,” said Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine at U.C. San Francisco whose research focuses on tobacco.

In 2014, the tobacco industry spent more than $5 billion — nearly two-thirds of its entire marketing budget — on discounts passed along to consumers, according to a government report.


The companies have been fighting a losing battle in California ..............


* Sacramento Bee:  "Philip Morris moves to soften blow of California cigarette tax for smokers"