Big Tobacco is at it again. Once more they are spinning falsehoods and fabrications about Proposition 29, according to Dr. Syed W. Bokhari, president of the American Heart Association, Inland Empire Division.
He says the claim made by Big Tobacco that the funds generated from Proposition 29 will not be used in California is just wrong. It is ironic that this patently false claim is being delivered by self-interested out-of-state tobacco companies. Both the explicitly stated purpose of the measure and the composition of the commission ensure that funds will stay in California.
In fact, the primary effect of raising the state tax on cigarettes will be to keep more money in California instead of shipping it to out-of-state tobacco companies. A recent UC San Francisco study concluded that Prop. 29 would keep $804 million in the California economy that is currently being exported to tobacco businesses and tobacco interests in North Carolina and Virginia.
The American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the American Lung Association included very clear language in Proposition 29: Funds generated by Prop. 29 will stay in California. Time and time again Big Tobacco has been known to lie, even under oath. Why would now be any different? Prop. 29 was written by trusted organizations to benefit the citizens of our state, to find a cure for cancer and to keep kids from smoking.
While the entire world will benefit if Prop. 29 passes and we find a cure for cancer, the financial benefit would be concentrated in California.
Read more about his point of view in TOBACCO.