- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 7, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Proponents of an effort to raise California’s cigarette tax have launched a new effort to raise the cigarette tax by $2 a pack, this time with support from wealthy donor Tom Steyer.

A group that includes the California Medical Association, American Lung Association and Service Employees International Union said it submitted a new ballot initiative Wednesday.

The group already was cleared to gather signatures for two other similar measures to raise the cigarette tax by $2 a pack, with most of the money going to the Medi-Cal program for the poor.

Similar legislation stalled in the Legislature this year amid opposition from tobacco companies. Voters have rejected two other cigarette tax hikes in the last decade.

California’s current per-pack tax is 15th lowest in the nation at 87 cents.



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