While much of the political world was focused on Wisconsin and the recall vote of Gov. Scott Walker, voters in California were faced with the choice to raise the cigarette tax by a dollar a pack. The issue, known as Proposition 29, would have hiked the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 87 cents to $1.87.
In the spring, the measure appeared well on its way to passing, but tobacco companies poured millions of dollars ($46 million by one estimate) into advertising campaigns. By contrast, anti-smoking groups raised $18 million. That difference was thought to be the difference as the proposition was narrowly defeated 50.8 percent to 49.2 percent.
The measure, which was backed by Lance Armstrong, would have raised money for cancer research and anti-smoking initiatives aimed at children.
California’s cigarette tax hasn’t been raised since 2000 and the rate of 87 cents is well below the national average of $1.46.
By contrast, in South Carolina the tax is just 57 cents per pack, ranking it in the bottom 10 nationally at 42nd. Missouri has the lowest rate at 17 cents.
Given that South Carolina is so far below the national average, would you favor an increase? Vote and chime in below.