Calif. Voters Reject Tobacco Tax, Officials Consider Fallout
California voters narrowly defeated a $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes amid an advertising blitz by the tobacco industry that some predict could quash similar efforts in the future.
Reuters: California Voters Reject Raising Tobacco Tax
California voters narrowly rejected a ballot measure that would have added a $1 tax to a pack of cigarettes in the state's primary election Tuesday, an outcome observers attributed to a $47 million ad blitz by the tobacco industry. The measure, known as Proposition 29, was defeated 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent on a day of light voter turnout, according to election results posted on Wednesday by California's secretary of state. Some absentee and other ballots remained to be counted (Christie, 6/6).
The Associated Press: Push To Quash Tobacco Tax Could Echo Beyond Calif
Big Tobacco's success in branding a proposed California cigarette tax as a government boondoggle sent a message that could echo in other states as votes trended toward the opposition. Through a barrage of campaign ads, the industry was able to cut support for a $1-a-pack cigarette tax backed by cycling legend Lance Armstrong from a two-thirds majority in March to a dead heat on Election Day (Dreier, 6/7).
Reuters: California Governor Shrugs Off Tobacco Tax Defeat
California Governor Jerry Brown said on Wednesday the defeat of a measure proposing a tobacco tax increase in the state's primary election is not a bad sign for the tax measure he aims to put on the November ballot. The Democratic governor told the San Francisco Chronicle the narrow defeat of the measure on Tuesday reflects how its campaign was simply outspent on advertising by its opponents (6/6).
California lawmakers are also debating how and if to ban smoking in long-term nursing facilities --
California Healthline: Smoking In Long-Term Care Facilities Debated
California already prohibits smoking inside hospital buildings, so Assembly member Wilmer Amina Carter (D-Rialto) thought it made good sense to extend that ban to long-term nursing facilities. The often elderly, frail population at nursing facilities might need more protection from secondhand smoke than most people, Carter said at a Senate Committee on Health meeting yesterday. … The Senate Committee on Health passed the measure on a 7-2 vote. It now moves on to the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations (Gorn, 6/7).