The fate of California’s $1-per-pack cigarette tax is still in limbo, despite headlines last week declaring that the tax was defeated by a slim margin, CNN reports. State officials said it may be weeks before the result is known.
The measure, Proposition 29, which was popular among voters earlier this year, lost support due to a $50 million ad campaign funded by the tobacco industry. The campaign raised questions about who would oversee revenue raised by the measure, how it would be spent, and whether it would stay in the state.
The measure would raise an estimated $735 million per year, with about 75 percent going to cancer research, the article notes. Initial results indicated that 50.8 percent of voters were against the measure, while 49.2 percent were in favor of it. Almost four million votes were cast. The results do not yet include more than 800,000 mail-in and provisional ballots.
The initiative attracted national attention. Supporters included New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and seven-time Tour de France winner and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong.