Davis’ Revised Budget Proposal Would ‘Erode Progress’ of Anti-Tobacco Programs, Chronicle Says
The state's Youth Anti-Tobacco Program -- the "nation's most ambitious tobacco-control plan" -- has helped to reduce the rate of youth smoking in California over the past five years, but Gov. Gray Davis' (D) revised fiscal year 2002-2003 budget proposal would "eviscerat[e]" the program and "erode progress" in the state's "battle against teenage smoking," according to a San Francisco Chronicle editorial. The editorial says that the program, a network of 60 anti-smoking programs statewide, has "compelled youths to smoke less" with a series of "aggressive" anti-tobacco advertising campaigns. However, the editorial says that Davis' revised budget proposal would reduce funding for the program by $35 million. The editorial also points out that Davis' proposal to increase the state's cigarette tax by 50 cents per pack "earmarks nothing to combat smoking." The editorial endorses a bill (SB 1890) sponsored by Sen. Deborah Ortiz (D-Sacramento), that would increase the state's cigarette tax by 65 cents per pack to fund tobacco-related health programs (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/23). According to Ortiz, the legislation could raise as much as $800 million for tobacco education, cancer research and health care services for low-income state residents (California Healthline, 4/2). The editorial concludes, "Perhaps Davis could consider a higher tax such as hers, with at least some of the money going into prevention and treatment" (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/23).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.