Prop 29 Goes Up In Smoke

POSTED: 04:45 AM PDT Jun 06, 2012    UPDATED: 05:13 AM PDT Jun 06, 2012 
Cigarette smoking blurb

Final election returns show Californians were almost evenly divided on whether to slap an additional $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to fund cancer research.

In the end though, voters narrowly snuffed out Proposition 29 by about 60,000 votes.

The attempt to increase the tax on cigarettes has attracted nationwide attention, with tobacco companies helping to raise $50 million to quash the effort and celebrities like cycling legend Lance Armstrong urging voters to support it.

Tobacco taxes have been proven to reduce smoking. But opponents say the initiative would create an unaccountable bureaucracy and hurt the economy by sending tax money raised in California to other states.

Right now, the tax on a pack of cigarettes here in California is 87 cents. The average around the country is almost $1.50 per pack.

If passed, Prop 29 would have an estimated $735 million a year for cancer research.