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California Prop 29: “Imposes additional tax on cigarettes for cancer research”

June 5 during the California election, California voters will vote on Proposition 29, which will determine whether cigarette taxes will increase nearly two dollars.  The revenues from price increase will fund cancer research, tobacco-prevention, and cessation programs.  The American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association collaborated in the writing of the proposition in the hopes to prevent individuals from starting smoking, continuing to smoke, and suffering the consequences of smoking (California Secretary of State, 2012).

The arguments against the proposition are largely fueled by tobacco companies hidden under the guise of anti-tax groups (Varney, 2012). The “no on 29” website claims that it does not provide any “new” funding for cancer research (No on 29, 2012).  What exactly is “new” funding?  It provides more funding. The primary point of these anti-tax groups is that it fuels and produces bureaucracy (Willon, 2012).  They claim that as a state, California cannot handle any more taxes right now, but I disagree with that.  Buying cigarettes is not like buying household goods.  They are not a necessity, and frankly as the health related problems are straining the economy as a whole, why not increase the taxes?  The one valid con about the proposition is that the cancer research funding can be spent out of state, so it is not funding projects and jobs within the state.  I think that while this is not ideal it is fulfilling its purpose of cancer and smoking-related diseases nonetheless.

Regardless of the complete lack of logic, the anti-tax groups encouraging voters to vote no on 29 have been advertising heavily.  A recent poll showed that only 53% of those polled would vote for Prop 29, down from 67% of those polled in March (Meyers, 2012).  This change of heart is thought to be reflective of the Tobacco companies’ $40 million anti-prop 29 initiative (Meyers, 2012).  Of course, the medical associations lack funding to fight tens of millions of dollars worth of advertisement campaigns themselves (Varney, 2012).

I smoke.  I chain smoked as I was reading the research.  If I was against Proposition 29, this would be my advertisement: “I’m a selfish tobacco addict who wants cheap cigarettes.  Vote no on Prop 29.”  It is honest and simple.  In reality, I hope to quit.  I don’t know if it will be with the help of a publicly funded cessation program or on my own accord.  If I do not quit and get cancer, God forbid, I would hope that there is enough research and enough Grace for me to end up okay.


California Secretary of State. (2012). Prop 29. Retrieved 2012, from California Primary Election:

Meyers, J. (2012, May 23). Prop 29 support plummets, new poll finds. Retrieved 2012, from News10:

No on 29. (2012). Vote no on 29. Retrieved 2012, from No on 29:

Varney, S. (2012, May 21). Proposition 29: First CIgarette Tax Increase in 13 Years. Yes or No? Retrieved 2012 2012, from NPR:

Willon, P. (2012, May 12). Tobacco company ads take aim at Proposition 29. Retrieved 2012, from Los Angeles Times:


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Filed under: Featured, Life · Tags: cancer research, cigarettes, nicotine addiction, Prop 29, proposition 29, smoking, smoking cigarettes, smoking-related diseases, tax increase, tobacco, tobacco ads, tobacco companies

One Response to "PROP 29"

  1. molly says:

    i don’t know much about Prop 29 Thank you for your perspective.

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