California ballot measure seeks signatures for cigarette tax

Just three years after a similar ballot measure was narrowly defeated, a new ballot initiative gathering signatures is asking California voters to support a $2 per-pack cigarette tax.

The effort being backed form the California Medical Association, the American Lung Association, and the Service Employees International Union seeks revenue for health care programs and services, to the tune of $1.1 billion in its first year.

Analysis by the California Budget and Policy Center of 2012's Proposition 29 tobacco tax initiative found a tobacco tax increase would disproportionately affect low-income Californians, who spend a larger share of their incomes on tobacco products.

The ballot's backers argue increasing the cost of cigarettes and tobacco products is widely recognized as the most effective way to reduce smoking across California.

What are the chances of this new initiative compared to 2012's Proposition 29?

California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016



Anthony Wright, Executive Director for Health Access California - a statewide health care consumer advocacy coalition

David Kline, Vice President of Communications and Research, California Taxpayers Association