As I write this, it appears Proposition 29 has been defeated. I would like to direct this letter to all those nonsmokers who voted against it.
I know big tobacco said it was “flawed,” and maybe it was. The flaws were: No. 1, the money could be used outside California. If you contract cancer, will you care if the cure is found in California, or Utah or Ohio? No. 2, it will establish another bureaucracy. If you have cancer and they find a cure, I bet you won’t care if Sacramento has a few more politicians. No. 3, it might fund jobs outside California. Do you care who gets the jobs that save your life?
This tax was meant as a deterrent. After the last tobacco tax was passed, more than 200,000 kids and 400,000 adults stopped smoking. You are the cause of those 600,000 people exposing themselves to cancer. I hold you directly responsible for not deterring my grandchildren and great-grandchildren from smoking and getting cancer.
If all the money netted from the proposition were dumped into the ocean, it would still be worth it, to discourage future smokers from exposure to cancer.
I know, I know — I should have written this letter before the election, but I couldn’t believe the nonsmokers, who would not be taxed, would be stupid enough to turn down an opportunity to reduce smoking and cure cancer.