PROPOSITION 10: Editorials Laud Child-Friendly Initiative
Two editorials in major newspapers endorse Proposition 10, the proposal to raise the state cigarette tax an additional 50 cents per pack and use the resulting $700 million in revenue to fund early childhood intervention programs ( see CHL 10/2). Today's New York Times says it "makes sense to use a tobacco tax to pay for children's programs because secondhand smoke and smoking during pregnancy have been linked to low-birthweight babies, pre-term births and increased asthma and respiratory infections among infants and children." The editorial asserts, "Simply reducing the number of parents who smoke would improve children's health," and the "new money would help counties expand children's and family services, as well as pay for more anti-smoking programs" (10/8). Yesterday's San Francisco Examiner calls the initiative a "near-perfect 10," saying it is a "clear winner" as a public policy issue. "If any measure on the ballot ought to make you feel good about your vote and about the future of California, this is it. Prop. 10 enunciates the power of the people to make a difference. In this case, the difference creates a wonderful duality: It giveth to children while it taketh away from the tobacco companies." While the editorial concedes that "[s]etting up an extra-governmental institution to dole out $750 million a year isn't the most terrific thing in the world," it argues the "craven" state Legislature leaves Californians with no alternatives since lawmakers "wanted nothing to do with diverting tobacco back to kids. If a few million dollars leaks out into pork barrel projects, our Solons in Sacramento have no one to blame but themselves," the editorial says (10/7).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.