February 28, 2011 - Mayoral candidate and former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and other backers of a $1-per-pack tobacco tax to fund cancer research said they submitted more than enough petition signatures Wednesday, June 30th to put their measure on the ballot in 2012. Backing the measure are the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Lung Association and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and cyclist Lance Armstrong's anti-cancer foundation, formally endorsed the campaign. (July 2, 2010 - California - tobacco tax increase could be on ballot in 2012..)
A week after Lance Armstrong announced his retirement from competitive cycling, the seven-time Tour de France winner is coming to California today on a political tour - to push for a ballot initiative that would add $1 a pack to cigarettes to raise money for cancer research. "Cancer doesn't care if you're Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, young or old," Armstrong said in an interview.
If the required number of signatures is gathered, the measure could be put before state voters as early as June should Gov. Jerry Brown succeed in getting a special election for his budget measures. California's tax on cigarettes is 87 cents a pack. The measure would increase that by $1 within 90 days of voter approval. A report by the state Legislative Analyst's Office estimates that the measure would raise the state's cigarette tax revenues by $855 million a year by the end of the 2012 fiscal year.
Backers say 60 percent of the revenue from the measure would go toward research into the causes and prevention of cancer, while 20 percent would fund efforts to reduce tobacco use. An additional 15 percent would go toward facilities and equipment to support research; 3 percent would support law enforcement efforts to stop smuggling and enforce current laws on cigarette sales; and 2 percent would be pay for managing the measure.
Reference: Cancer: Lance Armstrong promotes $1 cigarette tax, Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer, San FRancisco Chrionicle, 2/28/2011.