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Calif. voters split on tax targeted by Big Tobacco
“I think that we should aggressively discourage smoking _ make it less convenient, make it more expensive,” said Susan Hyman of Long Beach.
In nearby Glendale, Craig Jerpseth, a 43 year-old nurse, was equally certain about voting the measure down.
“I hope we don’t get any more taxes. That’s pretty much it,” he said.
A slew of newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, opposed the measure while proclaiming their reluctance to side with tobacco companies. They argued that the revenue should go to the state, which Gov. Jerry Brown announced last month now faces a deficit of $16 billion.
With a smoking rate of 12.1 percent, California has not raised these taxes since 2000. If the measure passes, California would still have only the 16th highest tax rate in the nation.
Associated Press writers Raquel Maria Dillon in Los Angeles and Amy Taxin in Long Beach contributed to this report.
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