In November 1988, California voters approved the Tobacco Tax and Health Protection Act of 1988, also known as Proposition 99. This initiative increased the state cigarette tax by 25 cents per pack and added an equivalent amount on other tobacco products. The revenue from Prop 99 was designated for tobacco-related research, health education and promotion, and health care services, and the California Tobacco Control Program (CTCP) was established in 1989.

In November 2016, California voters overwhelmingly approved the California Healthcare, Research, and Prevention Tobacco Act of 2016, (Proposition 56), by a 64 percent to 36 percent vote. Prop 56 added an additional $2 tax to each  pack of cigarettes and an equivalent tax on other tobacco products including electronic smoking devices (ESDs) and designated that a portion of the tobacco tax revenue be directed toward preventing and reducing tobacco use.