Proposition 29 Results Are Close Enough to Make You Want to Chain Smoke

Categories: Politics
Thumbnail image for cigarettes.jpg
Will Prop 29 end up crumpled and lifeless in an ash tray?
It's all gotta be part of Big Tobacco's plan. Tobacco companies pumped more than $46 million into the campaign against Proposition 29, which would increase the tax on cigarette packs by $1.

Perhaps they could have donated more money. Instead, they might have struck the exact minimum amount necessary to defeat the ballot initiative.

Because now, deep into the afternoon of the day after the election, Prop. 29 results remain too close too call. It could be days before a definitive answer.

So, in the meantime, the faithful on either side must be pulling out their hair, and biting their nails, and grinding their teeth, and pacing in circles... chain-smoking.

Just how Big Tobacco drew it up!

At press time for this morning's paper, the Chronicle reported that Prop. 29 was slightly ahead, 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent. By the morning, though, the Associated Press reported that the initiative was losing, 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.

Just two or three months ago, it didn't seem like this vote would be so close. A Public Policy Institute of California poll showed that more than two-thirds of voters supported Prop. 29. But that was before the $46 million "No on 29" advertising wave. By comparison, Prop. 29 advocates, including Lance Armstrong and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have contributed $11 million.

When PPIC took another poll in late May, 53 percent of Californians supported Prop. 29, even though 63 percent supported "increasing taxes on cigarette purchases." Clearly, the anti-29 strategy of untying the initiative from people's feelings about smoking worked.

That tax hike would send $735 million a year toward cancer research, and tens of millions more toward programs that help people quit smoking. Those against the plan argue that none of the money is helping decrease the state's budget deficit, none of the money is going toward education, not one dime is going toward cancer treatment, and that the money is allowed to go into other states.

Supporters counter that, saying a $1 tax increase has nothing to do with the state budget, and that this is solely about helping researchers defeat cancer and helping people give up their smoking habit. The money might go into other states, but only because there are cancer research facilities there. And the money isn't going toward treatment because there is no definitive cure for cancer yet.

If it passes, Prop. 29 would bump California's cigarette tax from the 33rd highest in the nation to the 16th. According to the city's Department of Elections data, San Francisco is the most pro-29 county in the state. Initial returns showed that 73 percent of us voted "yes."

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Craig List
Craig List

We already know Cigarettes causes cancer to name a few health problems.  So as a SMOKER. Why don't we just ban them? Makes sense?  We ban anything else that causes cancer but why is cigarettes still on the market?  Oh yea, BIG TAX MONEY!   Right now our countries epidemic is overweight obese people who are clogging our hospitals and our airline seats because of the food that they eat! yes, more people are dying now because of being overweight instead of smoking.  Why dont they tax the heck out of fast food to pay for this epidemic and research instead?

Snakesknr1
Snakesknr1

Tax it! I'm tired of smelling that trash in the air. You wanna smoke? Move to your own private island far away from me. Smells nasty!

Snakesknr1
Snakesknr1

Go smoke on your own private island clear away from me. Smells nasty!

Michael J. McFadden
Michael J. McFadden

Once More:  I think you may have caught a few whiffs from the "alternative" product that the Antismokers enjoy smoking.  :>   No, the votes against the tax still outnumber those for it.  The 53,000 is how much the No votes are STILL ahead after 190,000 additional votes have been counted.   And if you do an analysis of county leanings (as per their partial totals) and the estimated #'s of outstanding votes, the No vote should be quite secure unless some serious cheating goes on.  Hopefully Big Tobacco can't be blackmailed into turning a blind eye to any rigging that goes on: they put $45 million into the campaign so hopefully they'll be keeping a sharp eye on things. - MJM

Chapala6
Chapala6

what I read on the proposed bill was that there would be an inventory tax of $0.05 per cigarette, or $1.00 per pack.  This would ultimately be applied to wholesalers and distributors then passed to the smoker.  This tax was more than likely going to affect small business, as larger ones could have absorbed that tax easier.  I am not sure where you got your information from but the tax is already at 0.87 and being raised another $1 (unless it is passed through multiple dealers, then it is more).

Once More
Once More

So what's the deal??  I just heard the absentee ballots were counted, and the measure passed by 53k votes!  Seriously???  I need a cig.

MrEricSir
MrEricSir

If you don't take the time to write properly, why would you expect anyone to take the time to read what you wrote?

Sputnam13
Sputnam13

Looks like you're the idiot if you can't figure it out through a couple typos

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