I am not a smoker nor do I have any interest in the tobacco companies. Though I may agree in principle with George Skelton that cigarette companies are deceiving voters about Proposition 29, which would raise cigarette taxes $1 a pack to finance cancer research, I have a problem with the overall premise of the initiative.
People have the idea that just throwing more cash at a problem is the best way to solve it. Here, the idea is that we improve cancer research by imposing $800 million in new taxes on smokers.
Skelton sounds like he's more interested in punishing the tobacco companies than furthering cancer research. Considering the aftermath of Proposition 71 — the 2004 California Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, which added $3 billion to the state's bond debt with few results — one has to wonder what benefits this new measure would have for cancer research.