One of the ballot measures that voters will decide during this June’s primary is Proposition 29, which would increase cigarette taxes by $1 a pack in order to fund research on cancer and other tobacco-related illnesses. As expected, campaign battling over this measure has proven to be rather expensive with two tobacco giants spending nearly $40 million thus far in an attempt to defeat the initiative. In fact, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Philip Morris USA and their affiliates recently donated over $15 million in one day to the No on Prop 29 campaign. Philip Morris is the major entity handing out the big checks to defeat the initiative.
The California Republican Party is also opposed to the measure and has donated money toward the cause. As for the Yes on 29 campaign, their fundraising totals are certainly falling behind because total contributions are now at a little more than $3.5 million. The American Cancer Society, the Lance Armstrong Foundation and other nonprofit health organizations are supporters of Proposition 29.
The Chronicle points out that "Proposition 29 would raise an estimated $810 million a year, according to state officials, and give California the 16th highest tobacco tax in the nation. The Golden State currently lags behind 32 states in its per-pack tax and is one of just three states that have not raised taxes on smokers in the new millennium.”
The Yes on 29 campaign recently released a new campaign ad that attacks tobacco-funded opposition to the measure. See the ad here: http://californiansforacure.org/
You can see No on 29 ads and information about the campaign here: http://www.noon29.com/media
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