In November 2016, the citizens of the State of California passed Proposition 56 thus renewing their commitment to and support of quality healthcare, research, and the need to further control tobacco use.
Proposition 56, a voter initiative to increase state tobacco taxes, was approved with a remarkable 64.43% state-wide yes vote, establishing "The California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016." In addition to increasing the tax on a pack of cigarettes by $2, the first state tax increase on tobacco products in 28 years, the law levied a new tax on electronic cigarettes. A broad coalition of citizen and health organizations put forward the initiative to save lives and reduce the disease and fiscal burdens of smoking and tobacco-use among all affected Californians.
As a result of the passage of the initiative, beginning in July 2017, significant amounts of new funds were appropriated to several State agencies to address an array of critical healthcare, research, and public health needs throughout the state. Five percent of this new revenue supports research through the Tobacco-Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP) at the University of California, the research arm of the State's ongoing tobacco control efforts.
It was legislatively mandated that "each state agency and department receiving funds pursuant to this act shall, on an annual basis, publish on its respective Internet Web site an accounting of how much money was received from the California Healthcare Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 Fund and how that money was spent."