California recently rejected the $1-per-pack tobacco tax on cigarettes. According to Reuters, it was a close margin between supporters of the tax, mostly coming from the San Francisco Bay area and the conservative Southern California opposers.
50.8 percent of the voters were against the proposal and 49.2 percent of voters supported the measure. The proposal called Proposition 29 involved a breakdown of the following funds collected from the tax if it were to be enacted:
- 60% of funds would go towards prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and potential cures for tobacco-related diseases.
- 15% of funds would be used to build or lease facilities, or used on equipment.
- 20% of funds would apply to tobacco prevention initiatives and cessation programs.
- 5% would go towards law enforcement programs that seek to reduce illegal tobacco sale to minors, smuggling, and administrative costs.
Earlier this year, many Californians supported the tax. However, when it was publicized that the tobacco industry funded a $50 million ad campaign, people raised questions about the tax and grew skeptical of how the funds would be allocated and who would oversee the revenue.
The tax was publicized nationally and received full support from New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg as well as cancer survivor and seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
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