Voters split on Proposition 29 tobacco tax
Even with more than half the state's precincts reporting, Proposition 29 was too close to call well after midnight Wednesday. Californians were split on whether to raise cigarette taxes by $1 a pack to fund cancer research.
State voters have not approved a tobacco tax at the ballot box in 14 years. The Legislature hasn't raised tobacco taxes since 1994.
Proposition 29 would raise an estimated $860 million a year, according to an estimate by the nonpartisan state legislative analyst's office.
The money would be for research on prevention, diagnosis, treatment and potential cures for tobacco-related diseases, including cancer, heart disease and emphysema; for building or leasing facilities; and for law-enforcement programs to reduce illegal sales to minors and smuggling.
Proponents said the measure would save lives. Opponents called it a bureaucratic boondoggle.
The funds would be administered by a new nine-member Cancer Research Citizens Oversight Committee with four members appointed by the governor, including three from a designated California cancer center; two chosen by the state director of public health; and three others from a University of California campus.ALSO:
Photo: A woman smokes a menthol cigarette in 2010. Credit: Joe Raedle / Getty Images