Health Care Advocates Support Tobacco Tax Hike To Fund Research
Health care advocates are supporting a June ballot initiative that would raise California's tobacco tax by $1 per pack, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reports.
The current tobacco tax is 87 cents per pack. The state allocates 50 cents of that amount for First 5 early childhood health and education programs.
Ballot Initiative Details
Proposition 29 was written by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association.
Supporters of the initiative say the tax increase would generate about $600 million annually to fund research on smoking-related conditions such as cancer, heart disease and stroke.
They noted that it also would produce $179 million each year for tobacco cessation, prevention and enforcement initiatives (Hines, Riverside Press-Enterprise, 2/1).
Supporters, Opponents Debate Prop. 29
On Wednesday, supporters marked the official launch of the campaign supporting the initiative. Jim Knox of the American Cancer Society's California branch said he is expecting opponents to use tens of millions of dollars to combat Prop. 29.
Knox said supporters of the initiative cannot compete with opponents' spending but thatÂ messaging efforts and use of volunteers will help persuade residents to support Prop. 29.
Meanwhile, Teresa Casazza -- president of the California Taxpayers Association president -- said in a statement that "Prop. 29's good intentions are overshadowed by the fact that California simply cannot afford another billion-dollar government boondoggle to create another wasteful spending program."
Opponents said their coalition includes thousands of business, law enforcement and taxpayer groups (Van Oot, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 2/1).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.