Tobacco Tax Measure Campaigns Attracting Major Funding
Proposition 86, a measure on the November statewide ballot that would increase the state tobacco tax by $2.60 per pack to fund health care and other programs, and another initiative dealing with oil producers have "already attracted more money than just about any campaign in recent years," according to KQED's "The California Report" (Myers, "The California Report," KQED, 9/19).
Tobacco companies have contributed $40 million to defeat Proposition 86. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco told investors that quarterly profits might fall short this quarter as the company plans to spend $40 million to oppose anti-smoking initiatives in four states. Philip Morris has contributed $26 million into a separate campaign account to oppose Proposition 86.
Supporters of the measure say they expect to be outspent 10 to one in the election. The Yes on 86 campaign has raised $11 million and has aired one television advertisement (California Healthline, 9/13).
Bob Stern, president of the not-for-profit Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles, said that "the interesting thing about both these propositions is that a particular industry is being picked on," adding that the question will be how voters weigh the unpopularity of the tobacco and oil industries and the merits of the propositions when deciding how to vote ("The California Report," KQED, 9/19).
The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer and Windows Media.
Proposition 86 "is both too complex and too much of a shortcut for its own good," a San Diego Union-Tribune editorial states, adding that state legislators should "take up the two issues the initiative spotlights" -- health care reform and tobacco use -- "only separately." The Union-Tribune recommends that state residents vote "no" on the measure (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/20).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.