Californians Get Ready To Vote On Proposed $1-Per-Pack Cigarette Tax Increase

Despite that general air of clean living Californians exude, an initiative before voters tomorrow that would add an additional $1 tax to each pack of cigarettes is facing an uncertain future. That’s partly due to the $50 million Big Tobacco has rustled up to oppose the tax.

While the tobacco industry has been spending millions on a media campaign to kill Proposition 29, proponents of the tax like Lance Armstrong, Steve Jobs’ widow Lauren Powell Jobs and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have been speaking out in support of it.

It’s fairly cheap in California to smoke right now, as it’s one of a few states that hasn’t increased taxes on cigarettes in the last decade, points out CBS News. If the tax does become a reality, the state would still only have the 16th highest rate in the nation, at around $1.87 a pack.

And while smoking rates are pretty low in California, at 12.1%, it’s a big market for the tobacco industry. In 2010, smokers bought around 970 million packs of cigarettes, spending about $5.2 billion.

Tobacoo companies like Marlboro-maker Altria Group Inc., RJ Reynolds and other companies say that voter approval of such a tax in such a large cigarette market would hurt small business owners and kick off anti-smoking measures elsewhere. Which, of course, would be bad for them.

Despite such heavy media attention, the initiative’s fate is still uncertain.

The Public Policy Institute of California found that support for the initiative dropped from 67 percent in March to 53 percent by late May, reflecting the blizzard of radio and TV ads from the tobacco industry.

A statewide Field Poll released Thursday found that 50 percent of likely voters said they will vote yes on the measure, with 42 percent voting no and 8 percent undecided.

Lance Armstrong takes on Big Tobacco in Calif. [CBS News]

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. That guy. says:

    This is the problem with a company that is stuck producing only one product. As public acceptance of the product shifts, they are just sinking money into trying to keep profits the same. A company, like a tech or auto company, would spend that money on R&D, to develop new products for a new market.

    • n0th1ng says:

      Isn’t the article about a tax on cigs by California? What does your comment have to do with the discussion?

      • That guy. says:

        That’s partly due to the $50 million Big Tobacco has rustled up to oppose the tax.

        • StarKillerX says:

          But what industry, no matter how diversified, would sit back and do nothing with a major tax increased targeted specifically at their product?

          Automakers fight new taxes and/or requirements on them all the time, as do all other industries, and not to be left out unions and other groups do the same for anything they view will have a negative effect on them.

          • That guy. says:

            Of course it’s to be expected that they would fight any proposed taxes, but in this case they are “all in” on this product. I can’t say if the $50 million they spent is a calculated number that seems fair in light of how much sales they may lose, or if they are just throwing all the money they can to stem the tide. Either way, it seems pricey to do every time a proposed tax comes up.

            In the example with the auto industry, they are at least spending some of their funds on alternate fuel R&D.

            • StarKillerX says:

              Oh and I’m sure the tobacco companies spend money on R&D for other products as well, but that doesn’t mean they will roll over and not oppose a hit like this against their products.

      • Geekybiker says:

        Clearly they should be spending money to legalize Marijuana. Expand that market.

      • Costner says:

        I think his point is if these Tobacco companies had diversified and invested in other products (rather than cigarettes alone) they wouldn’t feel as big of a hit if their sales of tobacco products were reduced. The way it is now, their only option is to fight against any tax because they know it will reduce sales.

        • mikedt says:

          Well they did diversify. They branched out into non-tobacco consumer consumables but then split the tobacco arm off into separate subsidies to protect the non-tobacco assets when they lose that lawsuit that finally wipes them off the face of the earth.

        • n0th1ng says:

          I thought Phillip Morris owned other companies? This is news to me.

    • Burzmali says:

      I’m pretty sure most of the big tobacco companies own or are owned by major food companies. Philip-Morris (Altria, now) owns Kraft, for instance.

      • humphrmi says:

        Actually not. Altria now owns PM but spun off Kraft & Nabisco. RJR owned Nabisco before that, KKR bought them, spun Nabisco off, and so Altria is just a cigarette company now (again).

    • humphrmi says:

      Both RJR and Phillip Morris tried their hands at diversifying (ironically by buying the same company, Nabisco). It didn’t go well, but really for other reasons (heavily leveraged buyouts).

    • n0th1ng says:

      Nevermind I get your point. They are dammed either way.

    • varro says:

      There is another plant that is commonly shredded, dried, and smoked. Perhaps the tobacco companies would like to make this product legal, which would also synergize their profits with junk food divisions, convenience stores, and fast food?

  2. WB987 says:

    I haven’t looked at the proposition yet, but any time the “Orange County Register” opposes legislation, I make a loose positive association with that proposition.

    • Emerson7 says:

      The LA Times is against it too.

      • Peacock (Now In Extra Crispy) says:

        Normally, I’m in general agreement with the LA Times editorial board. This time, they’re full of crap. Let’s just say someone’s been blowing smoke.

        Don’t want to pay new, higher taxes? Simple. Don’t smoke. To be against Proposition 29 because the state has far greater needs is sophistry because this money is being raised for a specific purpose. It’s the same thing as Sean Comb’s son getting a merit-based athletic scholarship to UCLA and complaining that there are other, better deserving kids who need the money because they can’t afford to go. If Combs, Jr. Doesn’t accept the scholarship, it will go to another football player, not some needy kid from a poor family.

        Prop 29 works the same way. This money, assuming it passes, will never go into the state’s General Fund.

        As a long-term CA resident, as soon as I see Howard Jarvis Taxpayers on anything, I know right away, I’m going to be against it.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      They’re against it because the money goes to fund cancer research and not into the state coffers.

      • Jared The Geek says:

        Its the exact opposite of that. It goes to where ever they feel it goes and not to cancer research. How about you read the prop?

  3. powdered beefmeat says:

    Californians have quit smoking in record amounts over the last decade. A lot of the taxes went to state run originations. Because the lowered revenue there have been cut backs across the state including children’s hospitals. So in order to “save the children” California wants people to start smoking (again).

    What a wonderfully jacked up world we live in.

  4. shepd says:

    According to Wikipedia, this will reduce smoking in California by about 14%!

    • shepd says:

      Citation:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cigarette_taxes_in_the_United_States#Effects_on_smoking_rates

      I proved in another post that this “evidence” doesn’t apply to Canada, or if it does, the amount of application is tenuous at best considering the incredibly small decrease in smoking despite incredibly high taxes on cigarettes here.

      I’ll leave it up to posters here to agree/disagree with the idea that a 10% increase leads to a 7% decrease in smoking. Personally, from the statistics I’ve seen, it doesn’t. But again, I’m from Canada, where teenagers apparently react differently to increasing prices.

      • StarKillerX says:

        I can’t view that article at work, but I have to question the numbers simply because while the percentage of smokers in the US has been reduced by about 48% since 1980 the taxes have gone from pennies on a pack to several dollars per pack.

        According to NYC.gov there in New York there is a $4.35 is New York State tax, $0.61 sales tax, plus $1.01 in Federal excise taxes. So all told a smoker in NYS will pay $5.97 in tax for each pack, up for. Now when I started smoking in early 80’s I was paying about $0.80 to $0.90 cents a pack so even if we assume that 2/3rds of that price was taxes we only come up to $0.60 in taxes which means that in hte last 30 years cigarette taxes have increased basically 1000%.

        Now I understand there is a point of deminishing returns but it seems to me, without doing the math, that the decrease should be much greater if the 7% reduction per 10% increase is actually valid.

        • Azagthoth says:

          Wait… you can view consumerist, but not wikipedia at work? What kind of bizarro world do you live in?

  5. Snowblind says:

    Talk about a regressive tax…

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      And totally voluntary. Nobody has to smoke.

      • Bladerunner says:

        By that logic almost every tax is voluntary, and so therefore you shouldn’t complain about it…

        • rugman11 says:

          The idea is that we typically classify taxes as regressive because they disproportionately affect the poor and their necessities. Sales taxes are regressive because the richer you are the less of your income (proportionally) you spend on “necessities” (food, clothing, etc.). Likewise, the payroll tax is recessive because work is, for the most part, a necessity. I don’t think anybody would argue that cigarettes are a necessity.

      • Mark702 says:

        Nobody “has” to drink milk, so lets just say screw personal freedom and tell people that if you want to drink milk, which has FAT in it, you’re contributing to obesity! As a result, we’re gonna put a $2 per gallon tax on milk. Sounds great right? Except no.

        • Jawaka says:

          You’re really going to compare cigarettes to milk with regards to health?

          How much of our tax dollars are being spent annually on health care for addicted milk drinkers?

  6. Costner says:

    I’ll support such taxes if they earmark the funds for smoking cessation programs, low income healthcare costs, and for litter cleanup efforts.

    At least that way the money is actually connected to smoking rather than just being dumped in a bucket where the state can use it for anything they feel like.

    • Maltboy wanders aimlessly through the Uncanny Valley says:

      Funny, that’s the exact reason that many Californians, as well as some left-leaning newspapers, oppose it.

      • Snowblind says:

        All you have to do is look at other ear mark taxes/fees, like the transportation tax gas and the recent revelation 9/11 license plate fund being raided by Gov. Arnold.

        • Costner says:

          You do realize Arnold hasn’t been governor since January right?

          I do agree with your sentiment and we know governments love to raid these special funds… which is why I believe they should be under some form of protection that prevents raiding them for other purposes unless you have a supermajority of your state legislature approve, plus the governor’s signature, plus a majority of voters approving…. similar to what it takes to enact a Constitutional Amendment.

    • Jared The Geek says:

      It also creates a new committee to control the funds. That’s what California needs, more committees.

  7. hotpocketdeath says:

    This is why I quit smoking a few years back. It just got too expensive.

    I walked into a gas station one day and asked for 3 packs. I couldn’t believe the price they told me. So I ended up getting a drink only and walked out. Haven’t had a cigarette since.

    • shepd says:

      You are the first person I’ve heard that from. No, honestly, you are. I’ve talked to many smokers and every single one (except for yourself!) did it primarily for the health benefits–the considered the savings a secondary benefit.

      • spartan says:

        I can name 10 instances of people who announced they were quit because of price hikes. of course thats the same woman who has quit 10 different times.

      • Bladerunner says:

        I quit because Camel changed their blend and none of the other brands were as good, so it became an expensive habit I didn’t enjoy as much. Health was a distant third, since of course I was young and immortal and going to live forever.

        Funny thing is, for years I thought I was just being weird. “No way they changed it, I’m sure it’s just my tastes that changed.”…then I found out they did, in fact, change their blend right around when I first noticed I wasn’t liking them as much.

      • tbax929 says:

        I quit in January solely because of the cost. The health benefits were in the back of my mind, but make no mistake about it. I quit because it got too expensive. If they were a buck a pack, I’d still be smoking.

      • CoachTabe says:

        My parents quit when Michigan raised their cigarette tax several years ago. Strictly a financial decision.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I quit because of the health thing, because I didn’t want to stink any more (since I was looking to date), and I’m really glad I did since they are so dang expensive now.

  8. frank64 says:

    A quote says that tobacco costs the state 9 billion a year. It is probably exaggerated, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the taxes being used as a forced insurance. Any directly related tobacco medical costs could be used to pay for the healthcare.

    This would mean they are paying their own way. Other than that I don’t think tobacco taxes should be used to pay for anything. If we want more money spent on schools, children, or whatever great cause these taxes are sold for, let everyone pay for them. I really don’t like the mentality of getting someone else to pay for our something everyone should pay for.

    • TheMansfieldMauler says:

      If we want more money spent on schools, children, or whatever great cause these taxes are sold for, let everyone pay for them.

      Yeah, especially people without children.

      I really don’t like the mentality of getting someone else to pay for our something everyone should pay for.

      I want to live in whatever country you think this is.

      Also, there’s about a 99.9% chance this money would be earmarked to go straight into the General Fund.

    • CubeRat says:

      I think stats that are BS. My mother was a smoker, when she died it was due to complications of surgery after an accident. She had a reaction to something she was given in the ER and between that reaction and the accident, they were not able to save her life.

      The copy of the death cert said the primary cause was Smoking. Yes, smoking is bad and probably it would have killed her, however the thruck that hit her and slammed her into the brick wall was the primary cause of death – not smoking.

      Saying this, if the funds went directly to medical, I would definetely vote for it. As it is, I’m still undecided because I do not believe in sin taxes.

      • StarKillerX says:

        This hits the bullseye and points out the lie that is behind many of the excuses used by politicians to justify targeting a small group for increased taxes.

        If you ever smoked any heart, lung, or various other “smoking related” illnesses you get are automatically attributed to smoking, the fact that you could have come down with any of them as a non-smoker, even if never exposed to cigarette smoke, is completely overlooked since as it’s an inconvenient truth and does not help justify forcing billions in taxes on a small group of US consumers.

    • StarKillerX says:

      The problem is that smoking actually reduces lifetime healthcare costs, a Canadian Study in the 80’s found that smokers died younger and did not live to be very elderly, which is where the bulk of healthcare dollars are spent.

      These taxes are nothing but cash grab by politicians and since smokers are a minority, and have been so demonized that few speak up for themselves, so they are easy targets

      I quit smoking about 12 years ago, but my views on this haven’t changed.

      What’s ironic is that the government, at all levels, makes more money off cigarettes then the tobacco companies do and yet they scream and shout about the evil companies profiting off a product that makes people sick, yet they seem to enjoy spending the same money.

      • rugman11 says:

        I feel like I’ve made this argument here before. Yes, you are correct that lifetime health costs are less for smokers. However, those savings are seen by the federal government since those people would normally be on Medicare. So while overall they may cost less in health care costs, employers and local governments see increased costs while the federal government sees decreased costs.

        • Stickdude says:

          Which is an argument for smokers paying higher health insurance premiums as opposed to higher taxes.

        • StarKillerX says:

          Your partially right, but you didn’t consider the large number, and growing, of those who are extremely elderly are on Medicaid and of course the States are responsible for 50% of those expenses

          For example, in 2006 (the last year I could find the numbers for) Medicaid covers 43% of all expenditures on nursing homes in the US which Medicare covered only 17%, which is even considerably lowere then self pay which was 26%

          Medicare does cover more of the total long term care but even then only 23% compared to 40% for medicaid, and 22% for self pay.

          The problem with long term care is even a large nest egg can be wiped out rapidly should the person need to be in a nurising home. My mother has memory issues and last year ended up in a nearby nursing home for a couple months, medicare covered the first week and the remaining 6 weeks were self pay at $268 a day, not counting meds, treatments or evaluations.

          Basically this comes to almost $100k a year, and a price increase I was told was taking effect the first of the year would push it to over $105k and we are far from being the most expensive area in the State or Country.With costs like these it’s easy to see how people’s life savings can easily be wiped out in a relative short period of time.

          • frank64 says:

            I agree with you, but your posts show that it gets complicated to go through the numbers. That is why I want to get to the theory first: That a small subset of the population shouldn’t have to pay more to our general costs because we don’t like what they do. Many might disagree with even that, but it separates the two issues.

            Then if we say if that activity has a cost, then they should pay for it as a sort of use tax. Now we can get to the numbers.

  9. CrazyEyed says:

    I don’t smoke but if they think thats bad in California, come to NY and expect to pay 8-10 bucks or more for a pack.

    • StarKillerX says:

      Yeah, but if “NY is worse” becomes a defense for government actions then pretty much any state government can do just about anything and simply trot out that it’s worse in NY to justify it. lol!

  10. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    I can’t imagine being a smoker in CA as it is…

    MANY years ago, probably close to 10 now, I went to Sandy Eggo on vacation. Walking around town I happened upon a tobacco shop…so I went in and bought a cigar to enjoy.

    The next day I was walking around Old Town, and decided to light up and have that cigar there in the great outdoors. Only to be accosted by someone telling me that I couldn’t smoke there…

    “…smoke where? Here? Outside?”

    “Yeah, in CA you can’t smoke in a public area.”

    “…you’re kidding me…where, exactly, is one expected to smoke if you can’t smoke outside then?”

    “In your car, or your house. Pretty much it.”

    • JJFIII says:

      Seems reasonable to me. I do not want to walk down the street and be forced to inhale your cigar fumes. If you want them, go to your own home or own car and puff away

      • mistersmith says:

        I guess next you’d want to move on to banning music you don’t like, or people wearing colors that don’t please your eye? That’s not how America works, JJFIII. People don’t have to stop doing things you don’t like.

        • JJFIII says:

          Yes, you are breaking the law if your music disturbs the peace. The color of clothes you ear and moderately played music does not KILL people. I know you will never understand the difference, because you already proved you are a selfish asshole who will light up where ever the fuck they please.

          • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

            Holey moley!

          • StarKillerX says:

            Wow, what’s ironic is that you make the douchiest post I’ve seen in these forums and you seem to think the other guy is an ass.

        • NumberSix says:

          Typical slippery slope argument of every smoker ever.

          You stink up the air with toxins, litter butts everywhere, start fires, and burden society with your medical problems.

          Your habit is a plague and is slowly being treated as such. Deal with it.

          • mistersmith says:

            NumberSix: what’s this “you” business? I’m not a smoker. I just think your wanting to ban it is ridiculous.

      • Mark702 says:

        But you’re fine with the poisonous fumes that your car and millions of other put off right? Hypocrite.

    • mistersmith says:

      While some cities do have bans on certain types of smoking in certain public places, it is NOT a law that you cannot smoke outdoors in CA. You were lied to.

      • NumberSix says:

        Depends on where in old town they were. You can’t around the historic sites for example, and not within 50 feet of any building entrance.

  11. Jared The Geek says:

    This also effects premium tobacco products like cigars and not just cigarette’s. Its the land of the free unless you do something we disagree with. And before anyone argues about health risks remember that 1/3 of Americans are Obese. In NY they are already coming for you soda. The slope is slippery indeed.

    • JJFIII says:

      Yeah that slope that includes things that protect ALL of society. Things like making sure people all drive on the same side of the road. Maintain a speed limit. Do not shoot guns in the middle of the city.
      If your position is that the government has no business regulating tobacco usage, then I am sure you are up there advocating for heroin availability for all. Cocaine to all that want it. Oxy’s available at BP gas stations.
      As for soda, I would love to see a huge tax charged on crap food, starting with things that have zero nutritional value at all (like soda).

      • who? says:

        We don’t need to charge a tax on junk food, but not subsidizing its production would be a good start.

      • frank64 says:

        You are saying because the government need to regulate somethings they should regulate everything.

        There is something called nuance. If one thinks it is OK to have wine with a meal that does not mean the person believes everyone should be an alcoholic.

  12. finbar says:

    The revenue should go to the General fund. California has much more important priorites than another research program.

  13. dush says:

    Why is New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg getting onvolved in California politics?

  14. Mark702 says:

    First they came for the tobacco smokers, but I didn’t speak out because I don’t smoke…

    This is just going to keep getting worse, the nanny state of our government. Look at NY, the government goons there are trying to outlaw large sodas. Next it will be:

    chocolate milk
    large alcohol containers
    energy drinks
    coffee and other caffeine products
    fast food value meals
    then any fast food at all

    then it’ll be “unsafe” activities like:
    motorcycles
    skydiving
    rock climbing
    football
    gymnastics
    etc.

    • JJFIII says:

      BULLSHIT.

      If it had not been for the GOVERNMENT, what do you think the murdering tobacco companies would be saying about the health issues regarding smoking? Oh that’s right, we had that before it was learned that smoking is dangerous. They told people it was cool and safe and no problem.
      Smokers and other people who choose to do dangerous things SHOULD pay more for it. Motorcyclists pay more for insurance. Try telling your insurance agent you are a sky diver and see where your rates go, even though skydiving has killed fewer people in recorded history than smoking will kill today alone.

      • frank64 says:

        They should pay more for it to you? In affect we are asking them to pay for things that benefit US, because it is bad for THEM? Who are we to ask that? What gives you that right? They should pay the true cost to society, but we shouldn’t exaggerate that cost.

      • Ravant says:

        Yes, the wonderful government who profits more on gasoline, alcohol and cigarettes more than the companies who produce it do. That very same government who looks at you like little more than cattle that votes is doing this not to stop smoking, protect the kids or reduce instances of cancer, no. They are doing it because it’s easy money for overpaid, under-ethical scum suckers known as career politicians. I personally hate the stench of cigarette smoke, and have lost two of my closest family members to tobacco-related untimely ends, but they chose that life, and paid for it on their own. No taxpayer paid for them. Their family and medical funds did. Their net drag on society was zero. Yet people like you choose to demonize people like my grandparents because you feel the government is an infallible institution that can do no wrong. Sorry, if I want to drink my liver away, smoke my lungs away and base jump to my death because my parachute failed, that should be my right and you, nor the government should be allowed to deprive me of my inalienable rights to my life, my liberty or my pursuit of happiness. Especially if I have enough funds to pay for the disposal of my flattened corpse and the repair of the concrete I’ve damaged when my jump went awry.

      • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

        Then explain to me why cigarettes and cigars are still legal. There are only two answers, and neither make your beneficent government look good.

        Either they are really as dangerous as we’re told they are, in which case they are only still legal – unlike recreational drugs – because the revenue stream is too juicy to give up. And all that crap about raising taxes “for smokers’ own good” is just that: crap.

        Or, they are not as dangerous as we’re told they are, in which case they’re still legal because outlawing them for health reasons won’t stand up to challenge. Which begs the question: why demonize an entire demographic?

        Oh, that’s right: so they can tax the minority of smokers as much as they want (and do whatever they want with the money) without worrying that the majority of nonsmokers will ever stand up or even stop to think about it. And people like you just keep right on swallowing.

    • Stickdude says:

      But it’s “for the children”, so it’s ok.

      Seriously, that’s one of the angles they use in the pro-Prop 29 commercials we see several times – every. single. hour.

      My favorite is when we have a Pro-Prop 29 commercial, immediately followed by an anti-Prop 29 commercial, again immediately followed by another pro-Prop 29 commercial.

      • frank64 says:

        I posted this elsewhere, but that is when we ask why that great cause should be paid for by JUST smokers. If it is so great we can all pitch in a small amount instead of having the smokers pay a relatively large amount.

        Something that smokers would need to pay $200 a year for might costs us all $10 per person. What is more fair? There is no real reason why they have to pay our way, especially when we are asking them to pay for the equivalent of many, many people’s way.

      • dush says:

        They know smokers are addicted so it’s a fairly secure revenue stream.

    • GSwarthout says:

      Slippery slope is a logical fallacy.

      • fortymegafonzies says:

        It may be a logical fallacy, but I don’t think we’re doing any formal proofs here are we? Only an idiot would contend that “slippery slope” is not a perfectly reasonable position in most debates of this nature. It’s absolutely obvious that once you do something, it’s easier to do it again, or do it to a larger extent — in other words, a slippery slope.

      • Snowblind says:

        A leads to B, B leads to C, C leads to D is only a slippery slope fallacy if one of the links is a false premise.

        Mayor Bloomberg has banned smoking in public, trans-fats and now soda. What is next? Perhaps banning french fries?

        THAT is not a slippery slope, that is intuitively appreciable transitive implication.

  15. CubeRat says:

    I disagree with all Sin taxes. If we must have them, I think that the full amount should go to Medical or Medicade. I don’t believe that the package warnings do anything; I don’t think that the cessation programs work.

    If a sin tax is because it cost so much for us to support the heathcare of smokers, drinkers, etc, then the money collected should be sent – in full – to those programs.

    • StarKillerX says:

      But on average smokers don’t have higher lifetime healthcare costs then non-smokers as the vast majority of healthcare dollars go to treating those who are extremely elderly and smokers die long before they reach that point in their lives.

  16. rc251 says:
  17. AgostoBehemoth says:

    i hate taxes, but I hate cigarettes too. the problem with these taxes is what happens when everyone quits… do the taxes just go away, or do they start taxing something else?

    • frank64 says:

      They look for another subset of the population, like beverages, candy or more revenue from the lottery. One recent one in the health bill was a tanning tax. Just as long as they are not GENERAL taxes. Why should everyone pay for our own needs? Get “them” to pay it.

  18. NumberSix says:

    I support sticking it to smokers and the industry that feeds their need. Don’t like it? Bring my grand parents back to life and we’ll call it square. No? How about you pick up all the cigarette butts you see from now on.

    • frank64 says:

      I think it is better to live in a society where we can make stupid decisions.

      • NumberSix says:

        Fine. Right up until it affects others. Second hand smoke, butts everywhere, general burden on society. That’s when it stops being ok.

        • BD2008 says:

          There is no evidence that brief, transient exposure to secondhand smoke has any effect on your chance of developing heart disease or lung cancer. The studies that link secondhand smoke to these illnesses involve intense, long-term exposure, typically among people who have lived with smokers for decades.

    • Mark702 says:

      You grandparents lived in a time where they made their own decisions as adults, not the government making those decisions for them, and for better or worse, I’m sure they preferred it that way.

      If my dad or mom died from obesity caused by eating too much fast food, would I consider it right or fair to punish others who consume fast food within moderation by taxing them? Of course not, only an idiot would consider that.

    • Matthew PK says:

      While we’re resurrecting, can we bring back people who died from drug overdose, automobile accidents, alcoholism, diabetes and heart-disease?

      No? Ok, then let’s ban cars, pharmacies, alcohol and soda (oh wait!)

      • NumberSix says:

        Do smokers have no other argument that the typical slippery slope response? That’s a falacious argument.

        • Matthew PK says:

          I’m not a smoker. The argument isn’t “slippery slope” it is opposition to systematic discrimination.

          • NumberSix says:

            Logically, it is slippery slope and while valid in form, it is quite fallacious.

            • Matthew PK says:

              Wrong. Comparing death rates from cigarettes to those from unhealthy eating, or auto accidents is NOT slippery slope, it’s statistics.

              I’ll help you out:
              Slippery Slope would be “If we consent to high taxes on cigarettes for health reasons then eventually we may consent to high taxes or bans on large-sized sodas for health reasons”

              What I’m telling you comparisons of magnitude based on your own hyperbole:
              IF: Because cigarettes result in X number of health issues therefor taxes/bans are appropriate.
              THEN: Because Y results in X number of health issues therefore taxes/bans are appropriate.

              You hate smokers, I get it.
              I hate alcoholics, now what?

    • 8bithero says:

      People should never suffer for their personal choices?

      Douche.

  19. Starfury says:

    I live in CA and voted No on this. The problem is that the tax $$ will end up being used for research that doesn’t have to be done in CA and when people quit smoking because it’s too expensive and the tax revenue goes down they’ll be looking for another place to take $$ for research.

    I’ve reached the stage in my life that if it’s on the ballot I vote no.

  20. Matthew PK says:

    Tax tobacco out of existence because burning tobacco leaves are “unsafe in any dosage”
    Promote legality of marijuana because burning marijuana leaves are “undeniably safe”

  21. pgr says:

    It should $1 a cigarette not pack!

  22. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Make it $100 a pack. Do it. I dare ya. It’ll be funny.

  23. Kisses4Katie says:

    For the love of god, if they are going to increase taxes on smokers, they need to help the smokers quit!!! There are hardly any government programs in place to help smokers quit, but they keep on taxing them. The only thing it stops is possibly new smokers when they are young, but even that I doubt.

  24. dks64 says:

    I want to say “Yeah, tax the crap out of those smoking a**holes,” but really… it’s not going to do much good. I’m on the fence about this. If smokers were more considerate in general, I would support them more in their journey to damage their lungs, heart, and overall health (oppose tax increases). When they start damaging mine, that’s where I have a problem.Stop littering butts and I’ll have your back in not raising taxes.

  25. 8bithero says:

    People asked the government to step into their personal lives, banning or increasing the taxes on the things they didn’t like.

    Suddenly, the government sees fit to tax or ban anything they wish for whatever reason they wish.

    The government isn’t just becoming a controlling, nanny entity. We demanded it happen.

    Good job, America.

  26. Eaglekeeper says:

    Beware, for now it’s a $1.00 on cigarettes. Next thing money hungry states will go after is all the other products they can label as dangerous and increase taxes; beer, wine, liquer, sugar, candy, etc, etc….oops, nevermind, already happening…

  27. Snoe says:

    For a progressive critique of this proposition (and similar propositions that amount to budgeting-through-initiative), read Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum.

    As much as I hate to side with big tobacco and the Howard Jarvis crazies, I’m voting no on this one. A straightforward per-pack tax that goes into the general fund would also curb smoking while also helping the state’s finances, but this proposition pretty much kills that opportunity.

  28. Brad Ackerman says:

    How much money are the Nevada tobacco wholesalers chipping in to support this proposition?