Greater San Diego Business Association
GSDBA RECOMMENDS YES ON PROP. 29
If Proposition 29 passes, it will increase the current California state tobacco tax $1 to a total $1.87 per pack. It applies only to the purchase of tobacco products.
Tobacco kills more than 400,000 Americans every year. Nearly 33 percent of deaths from cancer and 20 percent from heart disease are attributed to tobacco, mostly cigarettes. So the obvious solution is to prevent disease, especially with skyrocketing health care costs. And the more cigarettes cost, the fewer people smoke. Teens in particular are extremely price sensitive, and LGBT youth are nearly three times as likely to smoke as their non-LGBT peers. Adding a dollar to the tax per pack will save 104,000 lives and stop 228,000 kids from smoking.
Proposition 29 will generate approximately $735 million its first year (and slightly less in ensuing years) for research and tobacco use prevention programs. Contrary to the opposition’s claims, all the revenue will be used inside California. Sixty percent goes to grants and loans to support research on the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and potential cures for cancer and tobacco-related diseases. Fifteen percent goes for the construction or lease of research facilities and equipment. Twenty percent goes to existing state tobacco prevention and cessation programs, and three percent goes to law enforcement efforts to eliminate cigarette smuggling, tax evasion and illegal sales of tobacco to minors. Only two percent goes to administrative costs.
Do not be confused by opposition ads, heavily funded by the tobacco industry, that claim doctors oppose Prop. 29. The 50 member board of the California Medical Association, representing 35,000 doctors in the state, voted without dissent to support the measure. It also has the support of the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, the National LGBT Cancer Network, and many more organizations.
The evidence that tobacco contributes to disease is incontrovertible. Passing Proposition 29 will be a big step to save lives, keep kids from smoking, and may lead to a cure. The GSDBA believes that the reasons for implementing this additional tax are overwhelmingly positive and strongly recommends a YES vote.