PROP. 10: Mercury News Comes Out In Support; Survey Shows Public Support
Sunday's San Jose Mercury News came out in favor of Proposition 10, the "California Children and Families Initiative" that would increase the cost of cigarette packs by 50 cents and use most of the revenue to fund "prenatal care, child care immunizations, parent education, child abuse prevention" and smoking cessation programs. Despite its support for the initiative, the Mercury News contends that "[g]overnment by initiative is a clumsy way of making law." The editorial noted that a "tobacco tax is a regressive tax" and that smokers would "be singled out to pay for programs that benefit everyone's children." Nevertheless, the editorial asserted that "the value of Proposition 10 outweighs its flaws" because "there won't be another good opportunity to address the critical needs of our states' youngest residents" if the initiative fails (9/20).
"California voters appear ready to ... slap more tax on cigarettes to pay for early childhood development programs," according to a Los Angeles Times poll. After hearing a description of the initiative, 54% of the 1,270 registered voters who participated said they would back Proposition 10, while 35% said they would oppose it and 11% were undecided. But before hearing a description of Proposition 10, 18% of voters said they would vote for it if the election were held today, 11% said they would not and 71% said they didn't know. The survey was conducted by telephone Sept. 12-17; it has a margin error of +/-4% (Barabak, 9/22). Results of the poll are also available on the Internet at www.latimes.com/timespoll. Click Prop. 10 to read past California Healthline coverage of the initiative.