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Will You Vote to Increase Tobacco Tax Tuesday?

Proposition 29 would add $1 to the price of each cigarette pack sold in California.

There aren't many statewide propositions on the June 5 primary election ballot, but one in particular is drawing controversy.

Proposition 29 would add an additional $1 tax to each pack of cigarettes sold in California, bringing the total per-pack tax to $1.87. Most of the estimated $860 million raised would go towards researching cancer and other smoking-related diseases.

Of course, the tobacco industry opposes the measure and has been spending heavily to defeat it. But they're not the only ones with objections.

The Los Angeles Times editorial board came out against the proposal, saying the state of California has more pressing needs than paying for medical research—like keeping schools and parks open. Tobacco taxes also often face criticism that they are regressive, hitting poor people the hardest.

Proponents, however, point to studies showing that boosting taxes on tobacco can influence smokers to quit, saving lives.

A recent Field poll showed California voters supporting the tax, 50 percent to 42 percent.

Readers, do you support the proposed tobacco tax? If you smoke, would you try harder to quit if cigarette prices go up? Share your comments below.

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