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California Voters Narrowly Reject New Tobacco Tax

George Severson

California Voters Narrowly Reject New Tobacco Tax

CREATED Jun. 22, 2012

SACRAMENTO (AP) - Proponents of a failed California initiative to increase the tax on tobacco to pay for cancer research say they're down, but not out.

Stan Glantz of the University of California, San Francisco's Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education says the vote was so close it's "worth another try."

The plan to add $1 to the cigarette tax was headed by cyclist Lance Armstrong. Lance Armstrong Foundation President Doug Ulman called the measure's defeat, "a genuine tragedy."

Tobacco companies, led by Philip Morris, pushed the opposition campaign, pouring millions of dollars into an advertising blitz that whittled away support.

With roughly 105,000 votes still to be counted and just 28,000 votes tilting the scales against the initiative, the opposition campaign says it will wait until all the votes have been counted before declaring victory.