LIVESTRONG Group Gives $1.5M To Support Tobacco Tax Increase
On Wednesday, the LIVESTRONG Foundation announced a $1.5 million contribution to support a June ballot initiative that would increase California's tobacco tax by $1 per pack, Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Van Oot, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 2/15).
LIVESTRONG was established by cancer survivor and cyclist Lance Armstrong.
The donation brings the total amount in support of Proposition 29 to more than $4 million (AP/Sacramento Bee, 2/15).
Ballot Initiative Details
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.
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 (California Healthline, 2/2).
The state attorney general and local law enforcement agencies would receive 3% of the new tax to crack down on retail tobacco sales to minors and black-market cigarette sales (York, Los Angeles Times, 2/15).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.