Proposition 29: Pros

Proponents/Funders of Proposition 29: American Cancer Society, the Lance Armstrong Foundation

  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking costs Californian taxpayers $9 billion a year in health care costs and productivity.
  • “By adding $1 tax per pack of cigarettes and equivalent tax on other tobacco products, Prop 29 will save an estimated 104,500 lives from premature smoking-caused deaths, prevent 228,700 children from becoming adult smokers and save Californian taxpayers an estimated $5.1 billion in long-term health costs from declines in smoking,” says nurse Hollye Harrington Jacobs in the Huffington Post.
  • Proposition 29 will establish an annual audit of the new California Cancer Research Life Sciences Innovation Trust Fund, which behave similarly to a previous stem-cell research initiative approved by Californians years ago.
  • California currently has one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the country. Presently, the state tax is 87 cents. New York state’s cigarette tax is $4.35 per pack, in comparison.
  • National average cigarette tax is $1.46, California’s 87 cents per pack is well below this figure.
  • Of the 3.6 million U.S. teenagers who smoke, more than 400,000 of them reside in California.
  • Jenny Cook, past president of the American Cancer Society and co-chairwoman of the Smoke-Free Coalition of Marin County, told Marinscope Newspapers: “The California Cancer Research Act will help save lives by providing nearly $600 million a year for cancer, heart disease, stroke, emphysema and other smoke-related research. CCRA will also drive down smoking rates by investing $179 million per year into proven tobacco control efforts such as prevention, cessation and enforcement by the initiative to raise the state’s tobacco tax by $1 per pack.”