Hospitals, Cancer Researchers Debate Proposed Tobacco Tax, How To Use Revenue
Two separate proposals for an additional tax on cigarettes in California to fund health care programs have been filed with the state attorney general's office for the November 2006 election, Capitol Weekly reports.
A proposal supported by hospitals would implement a $1.50 per pack tax on cigarettes. Under the proposal -- which would raise about $1.4 billion annually, according to some estimates -- 65% of funds would be allocated for ED care and the remainder would be divided among nurses, nonsmoking education programs and other administrative costs.
A proposal by cancer researchers would allocate 65% of revenue to cancer research and 35% to education and prevention efforts. Cancer researchers initially discussed a $1.00 per pack tax but plan to increase it to $1.50 per pack.
Although efforts have been made to construct a compromise between the two groups, talks deteriorated and both sides plan to continue supporting their own proposals, according to Capitol Weekly (York, Capitol Weekly, 10/20).