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Voters Reject Dollar Tax On Cigarettes To Fund Cancer Research

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Election Returns

LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A ballot measure that would have added a dollar tax to every pack of cigarettes to fund cancer research appears to be headed for defeat.

Proposition 29 would have increased the taxes on each cigarette distributed by five cents — which amounts to $1 per pack — along with an equivalent increase on other tobacco products to fund cancer research and finance prevention programs.

The measure would also have created a nine-member committee to administer the funds raised from the measure.

But despite both sides spending hefty amounts of cash in the Prop. 29 race, John Myers, political editor and reporter at News 10 KXTV in Sacramento, told KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO the result was not entirely unexpected.


“Cigarette taxes have never been big-margin victories or losses in California, even when they passed, it’s been by a razor-thin margin,” said Myers.

Major funding in support of Proposition 29 came from the American Cancer Society ($8.47 million); the foundation of the retired cycling champion Lance Armstrong ($1.5 million); the American Heart Association ($563,594); New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg ($500,000); and the American Lung Association ($421,986), according to MapLight.

The projected victory comes despite over $44 million in spending from five tobacco companies: Phillip Morris ($27.53 million); R.J. Reynolds ($11.17 million); U.S. Smokeless Tobacco ($3.04 million); American Snuff Co. ($1.75 million); and the Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Co. ($1.15 million).

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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