Statewide ballot push begins for new Tobacco Tax
February 19, 2006
SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hundreds of volunteers
throughout the state hit shopping malls and grocery stores yesterday
to gather nearly one million signatures needed to place an initiative
on the November 2006 ballot that would provide critical funding
to reduce smoking, keep emergency rooms open, fund health insurance
for children and expand nursing education.
"This initiative will save lives, by raising the tobacco
tax and funding urgently needed community emergency and related
health care services," said Paul Knepprath of the American
Heart Association of California. "This is the broadest coalition
that's ever come together to reduce smoking, the number one cause
of death in California."
The initiative, which is being sponsored by the Coalition for
a Healthy California, would raise the state's tobacco tax by $2.60
per pack of cigarettes, providing approximately $2.1 billion annually
for emergency room care, nursing education, children's health
insurance, tobacco use prevention programs, and disease research
and treatment efforts.
The Coalition for a Healthy California includes the American
Cancer Society, American Lung Association of California, American
Heart Association, The Children's Partnership, the California
Hospital Association, the California Chapter of the American College
of Emergency Physicians, California Emergency Nurses Association,
PICO California, Children Now, California Primary Care Association,
Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Association of California Nurse
Leaders, Emergency and Acute Care Medical Corporation, and the
California Association of Physician Groups.
Formal signature-gathering events will be held on Saturday, February
18 at 9 a.m. in San Francisco, San Diego, Visalia, Santa Clara,
Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield and Los Angeles.
Coalition For A Healthy California -- A coalition of health organizations
promoting disease research, tobacco control, emergency care and
children's health services, with major funding provided by California
Hospital Committee on Issues, the American Cancer Society, California
Division Inc., American Heart Association and the American Lung
Association of California, ID# 1278256 555 Capitol Mall #1425,
Sacramento, CA 95814.