Shame on the tobacco company. Its shocking misleading, almost $50 million campaign appears to have worked. Prop. 29, which would have increased cigarettes taxes by $1 a package to fund cancer investigation and anti-smoking new efforts, was moving on the verge of defeat Wednesday. If the result holds, the industry can go back to its tobacco business of hooking people on a smoking product that causes cancer and innumerable other health problems.
Big Tobacco controlled the art of deception in confusing and confused voters. Its claim that none of the Prop. 29 income would go to “cancer treatment” was a classic half-truth – the money would go to investigation.
Its warning that there was any guarantee that the money would be spent in California was flat-out hypocritical – the significant language and the composition of the panel that would dispense the funds nearly guaranteed otherwise. Its shills rolled out the tired old smoking warning that the higher cigarette taxes, still modest by national standards, would lead to unchecked illegally.
All Californians, smokers and non-smokers alike, pay the price of smoking’s health results, in both their private insurance premiums and the tax dollars they contribute to public medical help.