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Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:19 AM

Prop. 29: Dollar-per-pack cigarette tax passing (SF Chron)

Prop. 29: Dollar-per-pack cigarette tax passing

Marisa Lagos
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
.
Tobacco companies poured nearly $47 million into defeating Proposition 29, a $1-a-pack tax hike on cigarettes, but the measure was narrowly leading in early returns Tuesday despite the hard-fought campaign.

The tax increase would raise $810 million a year for cancer research and smoking cessation programs, and it would give California - which currently has a lower tobacco tax than 32 other states - the 16th-highest cigarette tax in the nation.

It is the second time in six years that voters were asked to increase the state's current 87-cent-a-pack tax; in 2006, a similar hike was defeated at the ballot box.

The vote would be a huge win for the public health groups that sponsored the measure, including the American Cancer Society. They have repeatedly tried - and failed - to persuade lawmakers to raise the tax on tobacco products, said the group's California vice president, Jim Knox. Those groups raised about $11.2 million for the campaign.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2012/06/06/MNET1OO2HT.DTL

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Response to pinto (Original post)


Response to bupkus (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:41 AM

2. Neither should be illegal.

Both should be available for sale to adults with appropriate health warnings.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #2)


Response to bupkus (Reply #1)

Fri Jun 15, 2012, 07:23 PM

7. Maybe because tobacco has been with us since 1492.

Columbus noticed that some of his sailors had taken up the habit and were unable to stop.

Tobacco was the cash crop that saved the Virginia colony.

The US Capitol building is decorated with a tobacco-leaf motif.

It's practically un-American to be against tobacco!

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Response to Lionel Mandrake (Reply #7)


Response to bupkus (Reply #8)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 12:02 PM

10. But tobacco has been prevalent in North America

for hundreds of years, whereas cannabis has never been as popular as tobacco in this country.

What is really recent is the criminalization of drugs. This started as an anti-Chinese policy in California in the early 20th century. Before that, opium, cocaine, cannabis, etc. were perfectly legal.

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Response to Lionel Mandrake (Reply #10)


Response to bupkus (Reply #11)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 06:38 PM

12. Tobacco was prevalent before the 1930s.

It wasn't just smoking. People also used snuff, chewing tobacco, and many other tobacco products.

Referring to the Civil War, "a historian of the American South in the late 1860s reported on typical usage in the region where it was grown:

The chewing of tobacco was well-nigh universal. This habit had been widespread among the agricultural population of America both North and South before the war. Soldiers had found the quid a solace in the field and continued to revolve it in their mouths upon returning to their homes. Out of doors where his life was principally led the chewer spat upon his lands without offence to other men, and his homes and public buildings were supplied with spittoons. Brown and yellow parabolas were projected to right and left toward these receivers, but very often without the careful aim which made for clean living. Even the pews of fashionable churches were likely to contain these familiar conveniences. The large numbers of Southern men, and these were of the better class (officers in the Confederate army and planters, worth $20,000 or more, and barred from general amnesty) who presented themselves for the pardon of President Johnson, while they sat awaiting his pleasure in the ante-room at the White House, covered its floor with pools and rivulets of their spittle. An observant traveller in the South in 1865 said that in his belief seven-tenths of all persons above the age of twelve years, both male and female, used tobacco in some form. Women could be seen at the doors of their cabins in their bare feet, in their dirty one-piece cotton garments, their chairs tipped back, smoking pipes made of corn cobs into which were fitted reed stems or goose quills. Boys of eight or nine years of age and half-grown girls smoked. Women and girls "dipped" in their houses, on their porches, in the public parlors of hotels and in the streets."


A History of the United States since the Civil War Volume: 1. by Ellis Paxson Oberholtzer; 1917. P 93, as quoted in a Wikipedia article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_tobacco

I might add that spitoons, snuff boxes, and other tobacco paraphernalia were ubiquitous. Fresh snuff was supplied to the U.S. Senate every day. All of which suggests that tobacco was the more commonly used drug long before 1930.

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Response to Lionel Mandrake (Reply #12)


Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:42 AM

3. The cig tax is losing now, with most returns in, 49.2% Yes to 50.8% No

With 100% of precincts partially or fully reporting as of June 6, 2012, 3:39 a.m.

http://vote.sos.ca.gov/returns/maps/ballot-measures/prop/29/

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:52 AM

4. As the number of smokers decreases

it will be interesting which minority group gets saddled with the lost revenue of the declining tobacco taxes. Maybe unhealthy foods, or booze, or maybe legalized MJ..

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Response to pinto (Original post)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 02:05 PM

6. This one was a nail biter all night. It flipped from yes to no a few times, finally landing on no.

I think that the idea is a noble one, but Californians do not want any new taxes, period. Part of the argument was, if you don't smoke, this isn't a tax for you - which may have worked if people felt the money was staying in California.

This should concern Jerry Brown with the taxes he's asking voters to approve in November. If Californians wouldn't easily pass even a smokers' tax, I highly doubt they will pass the taxes he's proposing.

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Response to IndyJones (Reply #6)

Sat Jun 16, 2012, 09:17 AM

9. I voted against it, it had nothing to do with opposing new taxes.

I support much higher taxation rates, but not this sort of nickle and dime sin-tax approach, we need an inheritance tax and higher income and property taxes, not more "fees" and sales tax and what not, that is what got us in this mess. Creating another big pot of public money for nebulous medical research is not the way.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #9)

Sun Jun 17, 2012, 02:16 PM

14. Tend to agree. We need a fairer tax code / enforcement overall. And in the best of circumstances

a rewrite of Prop 13 to close the loopholes or a complete repeal of the proposition.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 21, 2012, 05:04 PM

15. That's interesting. I and most everyone I know voted against it because we do not want new taxes.

I would not support higher property taxes, either. We already pay a lot and more taxes would hurt us.

I do support closing loopholes and as a CPA, I am tired of seeing corporations paying very little to nothing. Get rid of loopholes and let them pay their fair share. I just don't agree with new taxes. Make it fair by closing loopholes and revenues would greatly increase.

And get rid of the property tax deals made with big corporations like Walmart. Many big businesses pay no property taxes. They made sweet deals with the state. So in addition to paying little or no income taxes, they also pay zero property taxes. It's just not fair to the state.

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