Ballot Proposal Would Raise Tobacco Tax To Fund Cancer Research
On Monday, 2010 Oakland mayoral candidate and former Senate President Pro Tempore Don Perata (D) proposed a new ballot initiative that would raise tobacco taxes by a dollar per pack primarily to fund cancer research, the Oakland Tribune reports.
Perata predicted that the tax initially would raise about $900 million per year but that funds would decline as smoking became less popular.
The measure would require the state to deposit revenue from the tax increase into a trust fund and allocate:
- 60% of the funds for research on cancer causes, prevention and treatment;
- 20% for smoking cessation and prevention programs;
- 15% for research facilities and equipment;
- 3% for anti-tobacco and anti-smuggling enforcement; and
- 2% for administrative costs.
A nine-member oversight committee would determine how to distribute the money.
The Secretary of State's office expects the ballot measure to be ready by Dec. 17. Supporters of the initiative then will have 150 days to gather signatures from at least 433,971 registered voters in order to get the proposal on the November 2010 ballot.
Perata said the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association will help gather about a quarter of the signatures. He added that paid petition circulation firms will help collect the remaining signatures (Richman, Oakland Tribune, 11/16).California voters rejected a similar measure three years ago (Shadley, "KXJZ News," Capital Public Radio, 11/16). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.