Twentynine Palms -- In keeping with the policy memorandum 16-001, Department of Defense Tobacco Policy, the Combat Center began matching the tobacco prices with those of the surrounding community, April 1, 2017.
Under Proposition 56, a tobacco tax increase initiative was voted into law in November which caused tobacco taxes to increase by triple the amount in the state of California.
California’s tobacco tax increase has also affected other tobacco and all vaping products. According to the state’s Public Health Department, the tax hike is projected to accumulate approximately $1.4 billion in its first year, with half of the revenues going toward Medi-Cal, a health plan for low-income households funded by the state and federal government.
The DoD tobacco policy requires that prices in the United States, including territories and possessions, match the prevailing local price in the community. The price is also set at a level that includes the tax rates in the local community. That means the price of tobacco products aboard installations will be similar to the final price of those same items at civilian retailers, which will discourage service members from purchasing tobacco products.
“Tobacco use is one of the leading causes negatively affecting combat readiness,” said Martha Hunt, health promotion coordinator, Robert E. Bush Naval Hospital. “It’s our job to help Marines get over stress and make sure they’re ready to meet their mission.”
The Naval Hospital offers free tobacco cessation coaching for Combat Center Marines, sailors and family members. For more information on how to quit tobacco use, call (760) 830-2814, 1-(800)-QUIT-NOW or visit www.med.navy.mil.