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Prop 29: Support For Cigarette Tax Increase Slightly Trailing

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Photo: Ferran/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Proposition 29, which sought to impose an additional tax cigarettes for cancer research, is now failing by a slim margin. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, 50.8 percent (1,958,047 voters) opposed the proposition while 49.2 percent (1,894,871) supported it.

However, proponents of the initiative say there are an estimated 200,000 votes that need to be counted. While all precincts are reporting, provisional ballots and mail-in ballots submitted on Election Day have not yet been counted.

Proposition 29 would raise an roughly $810 million a year for cancer research through adding and additional one dollar tax on a pack of cigarettes. That would put the tax on a pack of cigarettes at $1.87.

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.