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Prop 29 remains up in the air

California bans lighting up in bars, public buildings, and even some beaches. Plus, it has one of the lowest smoking rates in the country: 12.1 percent.
So, you may think voters would like the idea of a $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes to fund cancer research. Prop 29 trails by about 63,000 votes, though.

"It'll be a good way to give the state of California money and is taxing something that is an extra for people not a necessity," Kathy Dolinar, for Prop 29, said.

"It seems like we're picking on the smokers quite a bit. Maybe I'm biased because I smoke, but do we need to be taxed on everything we do, all the vices in the world?" Tom Campbell, who is against Prop 29, said.

"Every single day, 155 people die in California from cancer. What Prop 289 was about was trying to save lives," VJ Sleight from the American Cancer Society said.

Mail-in and provisional ballots are still up for the count. Some estimates show there are hundreds of thousand uncounted. The American Cancer Society says it's not over until it's over.

"We still have hope," Sleight said.

Hope for what Sleight calls a lifesaver.

"We know that it will stop kids from starting to smoke, and with the cancer research, we know it will save lives," Sleight said.

Current smokers we talked to don't share that view, saying the extra dollar won't stop them from buying their packs.

The health-conscious state has not raised tobacco taxes since 1998. With the potential tax, California would still have only the 16th highest tax rate in the nation.

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