ORANGE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Western Dental & Orthodontics, one of the nation's leaders in accessible, affordable, high-quality oral health care, announced that it has joined a coalition of health care providers in California to support Proposition 56 on the general election ballot in November.
Western Dental, which has more than 160 California offices, joins a broad alliance of Proposition 56 supporters that includes physicians, educators, health care advocates, and organizations such as California Dental Association, California Medical Association, American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and American Lung Association.
Proposition 56 would raise California's tobacco tax, which is currently among the lowest in the country, to $2.87 per pack. The majority of the money from the sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products containing nicotine, including e-cigarettes, will be used for improving health programs and research into cures for cancer and other illnesses caused by smoking and tobacco products.
According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, California's current tax of 87 cents per pack is ranked 37th in the country. The tax hasn't been raised in nearly 20 years.
"Tobacco is responsible for killing 40,000 Californians each year. That total is more than people killed by guns, car accidents, alcohol, illegal drugs and HIV combined," said Dr. John Luther, Chief Dental Officer at Western Dental. "By taxing tobacco, we will save lives by getting people to quit smoking. But more importantly, it will stop young people from ever starting. Proposition 56 also will support important health care programs like Medi-Cal and Denti-Cal for low-income California residents."
California currently spends $3.5 billion each year treating cancer and other tobacco-related diseases through Medi-Cal. The "No" on Proposition 56 campaign is funded entirely by tobacco companies.
The benefits of Proposition 56 include:
- Reduce teen smoking: Studies indicate that 90 percent of smokers start as teens. An estimated 17,000 California kids get hooked on smoking and one-third of them will eventually die from a tobacco-related illness. In every other state that has raised the tobacco tax, smoking rates have gone down among teens.
- Save Lives: Smoking is the No. 1 cause of preventable death in California. Proposition 56 will not only help prevent teens from smoking, it will improve health care by fighting cancer and other tobacco-related diseases.
- Smokers will pay to improve health care: Proposition 56 will serve as a user fee. If you don't use tobacco, you won't pay.
ABOUT WESTERN DENTAL
Western Dental (with its affiliate Brident Dental & Orthodontics) is one of the nation's largest dental providers and is the leader in accessible, affordable, high-quality oral health care, with over 2 million patient visits annually in more than 200 affiliated offices throughout California, Arizona, Nevada and Texas. Western Dental is the #1 provider of orthodontics services in California and Arizona, and continues to expand its network of orthodontists, oral surgeons, pedodontists, periodontists and endodontists to serve patient needs all within their local office. All of Western Dental's services are backed by a unique quality assurance system that electronically monitors all patient visits, treatments, dental staff and clinical performance to enable high-quality care. For more information, please visit www.westerndental.com.
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SOURCE Western Dental & Orthodontics