October 27, 2006

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Público

YES to Proposition 86

Proposition 86 allows for a tax increase on tobacco. It would impose a $2.60 tax for a pack of cigarettes.

What would this proposition really do?

It would decrease smoking rates particularly among the youth. Smoking costs Californians $8.6 billion a year in medical expenses (more than $860 dollars per year per family). Budgets for health services are being cut as we speak.

This initiative would invest in health for all Californians by providing for smoking reduction, increasing children’s health insurance and emergency room services.

According to research studies, cigarette taxes help prevent kids from starting to smoke and help lower-income smokers to quit. This tax increase would help 500,000 adults quit and stop 700,000 youths from starting. It is estimated that 120,000 high school students and 30,000 middle school students would either quit or not start smoking because of the tax increase.

Tobacco products are the single largest cause of death in California and will kill 40,000 Californians this year. The tobacco industry knows the truth: nicotine is addictive.

The tobacco industry has backed the negative television ads you have seen to the tune of 50 million dollars.

This tobacco tax act is being sponsored by the largest non-profit health agencies: The American Cancer Society, American Lung Association of California, and the American Heart Association.

This is a direct appeal to the voters in San Diego.

Vote yes to save lives. Vote yes to proposition 86.

Maria Lourdes F. Reyes, MD, MPH
Past-President, American Cancer Society California Division

Letters to the Editor Return to the Frontpage