Supporters of Tobacco Tax Measure Optimistic
Some supporters of Proposition 86 say they plan to reintroduce the defeated tobacco tax increase, citing the approval of tobacco measures in other states, the Los Angeles Times reports (Halper, Los Angeles Times, 11/9).
State voters on Tuesday rejected Proposition 86 by a margin of 52% to 48%. The measure would have increased the state's cigarette tax by $2.60 to $3.47 per pack, making it the highest in the nation (Craver, Winston-Salem Journal, 11/9). Funds would have gone to children's health insurance programs, emergency department services and other health care programs (California Healthline, 11/8).
Arizona voters on Tuesday approved an 80-cent tobacco tax increase, and voters in South Dakota approved a $1 increase. Voters in Arizona, Nevada and Ohio also approved anti-smoking initiatives (Winston-Salem Journal, 11/9).
Supporters of Proposition 86 in California said they still have momentum due to these victories.
Cass Wheeler -- CEO of the American Heart Association, a supporter of the campaign in favor of Proposition 86 -- said, "We will come back to fight another day in California."
Mark Baldassare, a fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, said that California residents might have rejected the measure because it was unclear how revenue would be used or because of the size of the tax. Support for a tax increase remains strong, he said.
"I have no doubt something like this will be back in California," he said (Los Angeles Times, 11/9).
However, Filippe Goosens, an analyst with Credit Suisse, said that tobacco companies' "big win in California will clearly embolden the tobacco industry, as it has effectively drawn a line in the sand by aggressively lobbying against the proposal" (Winston-Salem Journal, 11/9).