SACRAMENTO — A proposed $1-a-pack tax increase on cigarettes is popular among California voters, but they are split over whether to change the state's 22-year-old term limits law, a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll shows. The two measures will appear on Tuesday's statewide ballot.
The tobacco tax, Proposition 29, is backed by 62% of state voters, while just 33% say they oppose it. If passed, the measure would raise levies on other tobacco products in addition to the $1 hike on cigarettes.
The proceeds — about $850 million a year, according to the state legislative analyst's office — would pay for more cancer research and help law enforcement fight illegal cigarette sales.
Tobacco companies have run a $40-million opposition campaign, criticizing the measure for creating a new bureaucracy and doing nothing to help close an estimated $15.7-billion budget deficit. Proponents, including the American Heart Assn. and the American Lung Assn., have countered with arguments by former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong, who runs an anti-cancer foundation in Texas.