Vice speaker cracks down on tobacco use - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Vice speaker cracks down on tobacco use

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by Ken Quintanilla

Guam - More than a handful of years after Public Law 30-80 increased the tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products, Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz has introduced legislation aimed to further reduce tobacco use on Guam.

Bill 206 would establish the tax parity between cigarettes and chewing tobacco. Specifically, the measure would "equalize the tax rate on smokeless tobacco to that of cigarettes and break the trend of the consumption of smokeless tobacco as a cheaper alternative."

According to a release, a container of smokeless tobacco is currently priced $2 to $3 less than a pack of cigarettes. Bill 206 would increase the current tax rate on smokeless tobacco from $14 a pound to a new rate of $40 thus resolving the disparity in the prorated taxes for the quantities of tobacco products as packaged. Under the current law, a pack of 20 cigarettes is taxed at $3 while a standard 1.2-ounce container of smokeless tobacco is taxed at $1.05.

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