Health Advocates Push Ballot Measure To Raise Cigarette Tax For Cancer Research

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, November 16, 2009
Anti-smoking groups are working to get a measure on next year’s ballot that would raise the state tax on cigarettes. 

The money would help pay for cancer research in California. 

Capital Public Radio's Steve Shadley reports...
Doctor Laura Nathan is chairwoman of California’s Division of the American Cancer Society. 

She says the initiative would raise the tax on cigarettes by a dollar a pack. 

She says it would generate about a half-billion dollars a year for cancer research and to fight other diseases linked to smoking...
Nathan:   “There’s also money for smoking cessation and tobacco use prevention. There’s some money slated for facilities and equipment to support the research. And then there’s a very small percentage that will go toward police enforcement of tobacco laws and to stop tobacco smuggling...”
California voters defeated a similar cigarette tax hike for health care programs three years ago. 

Supporters of this measure expect tobacco companies to campaign against the initiative if it qualifies for next year’s general election.  

They must collect more than 430-thousand voter signatures to qualify for the November 2010 ballot.