Proposition 29 would increase taxes on cigarettes by $1 per pack to fund certain research and tobacco prevention programs. The current tax per pack is 87 cents. If the proposition passes, consumers would pay $1.87 per pack in cigarette taxes. Experts estimate the measure would generate about $850 million a year in new tax revenues.
For more information on this proposition, including voter resources, in-depth analysis, and endorsements, please see the California Choices web site.
Proponents of the measure argue that it will help fund groups which are experiencing shrinking budgets such as the National Cancer Institute. They say that tobacco companies are targetting low income and minority populations and that the measure will help offset the harm done to those communities. Finally, they claim that the measure can fund important cancer research.
Opponents of the measure argue that Proposition 29 is poorly written and does not require enough oversight from outside agencies. They claim that the measure will not bring in eough money to keep the program going and tobacco prevention and research, while important, is not the area in which the state should be spending money during the financial crisis.