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CA Tobacco Tax for Cancer Research Losing by Slim Margin

June 13, 2012

Although official results may not be declared until July, a statewide ballot measure that would raise taxes on tobacco products to fund cancer research was losing by a vote of 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent, according to unofficial results reported Wednesday from the California secretary of state.

Proposition 29 would impose an additional $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes and an equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products. If approved, the measure would generate about $735 million a year. Of this amount, $441 million is slated for grants and loans offered on a competitive basis to support research on cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other tobacco-related illnesses. A similar measure was passed in Texas in 2007 where voters approved a $3 billion bond measure to fund cancer research over 10 years (see the Nov. 7, 2007 issue of the Digest).