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CALIFORNIA CIGARETTE TAX DELIGHTS

Cigarette sales have dropped 14 percent and state tobacco tax revenues have more than tripled since voters approved a tobacco tax hike in 1988, the American Lung Association announced Wednesday.

"Proposition 99 is doing exactly what the tobacco industry feared most," Steve Harmon, the association's state president, said in a statement. "It is leading to a significant reduction in smoking."

The state cigarette tax was increased from 10 cents a pack to 35 cents by Proposition 99, which voters approved in November 1988. The sales tax took effect Jan. 1, 1989.

Cigarette sales have sinced dropped from $2.54 billion in 1988 to $2.18 billion in 1989, while the state's tobacco tax revenue soared from about $253.8 million in 1988 to $764.4 million in 1989, the association said.

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