As expected, the leading makers of cigarettes are dishing out major campaign contributions to defeat Proposition 29. Voters this June will decide whether to support a $1-per pack tax on cigarettes in order to fund cancer research. In response, recently more than $9 million in new contributions were made by Philip Morris, USA and R.J. Reynolds (and that’s on top of $12 million that was already donated). The pro-Prop 29 side has a high-profile donator of its own, as cycling champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong has lent his name and money to the campaign. This is how the nonpartisan LAO has described the ballot measure:
“A YES vote on this measure means: State excise taxes on cigarettes would increase by $1 per pack to a total of $1.87 per pack. These additional revenues would be dedicated to fund cancer and tobacco-related disease research and tobacco prevention and cessation programs.
A NO vote on this measure means: State excise taxes on cigarettes would remain at the current level of 87 cents per pack and would continue to be used for existing purposes, including childhood development programs and various health and tobacco prevention and cessation programs.”
Proponents of the initiative also released the following video to rally support for the tax:
For more information about Proposition 29, the Sacramento Bee recently hosted a chat and debate on the initiative and you can read the conversation that took place here.
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