(LOS ANGELES) -- The most hotly debated initiative in California would raise the tax on cigarettes by a dollar and mandate that the money be put back into tobacco-related illnesses, ABC affiliate KABC reports.
If Proposition 29 passes, the cigarette tax in California would be raised by a dollar to $1.87 per pack. The tax would raise $735 million and would be used to award research grants for cancer and other smoking-related illnesses.
The initiative faces opposition from taxpayer groups, who don't see its benefit during a time of multi-billion-dollar state deficits. Proponents argue the initiative would keep people out of the hospital, deter 220,000 kids from starting to smoke and encourage 100,000 smokers to quit.
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