California voters are deciding whether to approve a tobacco tax that pits Lance Armstrong against major cigarette makers in a multimillion-dollar fight.
The initiative on Tuesday’s ballot, Proposition 29, would impose a $1 per pack tax on cigarettes and other tobacco products to raise money for cancer research and anti-smoking programs. Armstrong, the cycling legend and cancer survivor, has been the driving force behind the plan. Opponents, including tobacco industry giants, have put nearly $50 million into an ad campaign fighting the plan, compared with nearly $18 million raised by supporters. Critics say the initiative will create a bureaucracy and hurt the economy by sending tax money to other states. An extra tax also could mean losses for tobacco companies.