VICTORVILLE — Tobacco users will experience a hefty tax rate increase on tobacco-based products other than cigarettes starting Saturday.

The tax rate will increase from the rate of 27.3 to 65.08 percent of the wholesale cost and will stay in effect through June 30, 2018.

California voters approved Proposition 56 in November. It increased the excise tax rate on cigarettes. The proposition also expanded the definition of “tobacco products” to include little cigars, tobacco and nicotine intended for human consumption, and electronic cigarettes sold in combination with nicotine.

The new cigarette tax rate increase, which went into effect on April 1, raised the state tax on a pack of 20 cigarettes from 87 cents to $2.87, with the tax including nicotine delivery devices such as electronic cigarettes, e-cigars, e-pipes, vape pens, and e-hookahs.

State legislators will use a portion of the $1.26 billion in new tobacco tax revenue to increase Medi-Cal provider rates for doctors and other health professionals.

Doctors, dentists and others who provide publicly funded care for the poor will receive $546 million in supplemental provider payments next year, $325 million for physician services and $140 million for dental services. Another $711 million will go for Medi-Cal program growth, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Depending on the state’s fiscal health, it could increase provider payments to $800 million in the budget beginning July 1, 2018.

In keeping with state law, the Board of Equalization adjusts the tobacco tax rate every April. In accordance with Revenue and Taxation Code, the BOE is required to annually calculate a tax rate on tobacco products that is equivalent to the combined rate of tax imposed on cigarettes, which come out to $2.87 per pack of 20, or about 14 cents per cigarette.

The tobacco products tax is imposed upon the first distribution in California, paid by the licensed tobacco products distributor and based on their wholesale cost prior to any discounts or trade allowances.

The fiscal year 2017-18 Tobacco Products Tax Rate is based on the wholesale premium brand cigarette price as of March 1, as published by the Tobacco Merchants Association.

Other tobacco products include, but are not limited to, cigars, little cigars, smoking tobacco (including shisha), chewing tobacco, snuff, nicotine delivery devices (for example, e-pipes, vape pens, e-hookahs) sold in combination with any liquid or substance containing nicotine, and any products containing, made of, or derived from any amount of tobacco or nicotine that is intended for human consumption.

Nicotine delivery devices sold independently, without nicotine, are not subject to the excise tax. This includes any battery, battery charger, carrying case, or other accessory used in the operation of a nicotine delivery device. “Tobacco products” do not include cigarettes or any product that has been approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration for sale as a tobacco cessation product or for other therapeutic purposes (for example, nicotine patches).

Additional information regarding the provisions of Prop. 56 is available online at www.voterguide.sos.ca.gov. For more information regarding cigarette and tobacco products taxes, visit www.boe.ca.gov, or call 800-400-7115.

Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.