CPhA endorses California's Prop 29 cigarette tax

May 30, 2012
From staff reports
From staff reports

The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) announced Tuesday that its board of trustees has endorsed the California Cancer Research Act, also known as Proposition 29, which would raise $735 million annually for cancer research and smoking education by imposing a $1 tax on a pack of cigarettes

The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) announced last week that its board of trustees has endorsed the California Cancer Research Act, also known as Proposition 29, which would raise $735 million annually for cancer research and smoking education by imposing a $1 tax on each pack of cigarettes.

Proposition 29 will appear on the June 5 presidential primary ballot in California. Other tobacco products would be taxed proportionately if it passes.

“This endorsement is consistent with CPhA policy regarding tobacco use as well as pharmacist’s leadership role in promoting health policy in California,” CPhA CEO Jon Roth stated in a news release.

The CPhA board’s decision delighted Fred S. Mayer, RPh, MPH, president of PPSI, a non-profit corporation that advocates for public health issues.

“It has been shown scientifically that raising the price by $1 a pack will save lives and kids from starting to smoke,” Mayer, also an advisor for Drug Topics, said in an email. “It’s time for pharmacists to get rid of all cigarettes that are being sold through pharmacies.”

Bob Gordon, MPH, of the San Francisco Tobacco Free Coalition, told Drug Topics in an email that “research tells us that an overwhelming majority of pharmacists and pharmacy students want to work in a pharmacy that is tobacco-free, in an environment that is more conducive to encouraging patients to quit smoking. This (CPhA) endorsement of YES on Proposition 29 … is the right thing to do.”

CPhA joins the Marin Pharmacists Association, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, American Lung Association in California, and Lance Armstrong’s Live Strong Foundation among others supporting Proposition 29.

The ballot issue is opposed by Philip Morris, R.J. Reynolds, U.S. Smokeless Tobacco, the American Snuff Company, and others. Opponents have amassed more than $40 million to take down the measure, according to a report in Huffington Post, almost 5 times what the supporters have raised.