Proposition 29, which seeks to impose an additional tax cigarettes for cancer research, is still too close to call. As of 12:42 a.m. on June 6, the proposition was nearly tied with 1,607,098 (49.6 percent) of voters supporting the tax while 1,634,132 (50.4 percent) opposing it.
The state tax on each pack of cigarettes is currently at 87 cents. If Proposition 29 passes it would increase the tax by $1 per pack.
Supporters of the initiative argue Prop 29 helps to improve overall public health by financing cancer research. However, those who oppose the legislation say the state has already mismanaged cigarette tax funds from and the initiative has no accountability to taxpayers.
Low-income residents in California are likely to be hit hardest if the cigarette tax hike passes. One out of five people whose household income is less than $20,000 also smokes, according to the California Budget Project.