2012 California Proposition 29

Proposition 29, the California Cancer Research Act, is a California ballot measure that was defeated by California voters at the statewide election on June 5, 2012.

The measure would have placed a $1 excise on tobacco products into a protected fund to finance medical research on smoking-related illnesses, strengthen California’s smoking prevention and cessation programs, and enforce the state’s existing tobacco laws.

The independent California Legislative Analyst's Office projected that the measure would have generated approximately $855 million in first year, declining slightly but predictably (about 3% annually due to decrease in the number of smokers) every year thereafter.[1]

The measure would have created a nine-member committee charged with administering direct revenues. This oversight committee was to be composed of cancer-research medical professionals, University of California Chancellors, and representatives of national disease advocacy groups. The measure restricted administration costs to no more than 2% of its direct tax revenues.[2]

The California Cancer Research Act was widely supported by cancer advocates, including cancer survivor Lance Armstrong and the American Cancer Society.[3]


How CCRA revenue would have been spent[edit]

According to the independent California Legislative Analyst's Office, revenue raised by the measure would have been spent as follows:[4]

  • Approximately $75 million annually: Maintaining existing tobacco tax revenue streams to ensure that the California Proposition 99 (1988), California Proposition 10 (1998), General Fund and Breast Cancer programs funded by existing tobacco taxes are not negatively impacted by the excise tax increase;
  • 60% (approximately $468 million annually): Research of cancer and tobacco-related disease "for the purpose of grants and loans to support research into the prevention, early detection, treatments, complementary treatments and potential cures of lung cancer and other types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema and other tobacco related diseases, including but not limited to coronary heart disease, and chronic obstructive lung disease";
  • 15% (approximately $117 million annually): Facilities and capital equipment for research "for the purposes of grants and loans to provide facilities, including but not limited to those building, building leases and capital equipment as may be found necessary and appropriate by the Committee, to further biomedical, epidemiological, behavioral, health services, and other research whose primary focus is to identify and refine promising prevention, early detection, treatments, complementary treatments, rehabilitation and potential cures of lung cancer and other types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, emphysema and other tobacco related diseases";
  • 20% (approximately $156 million annually): Tobacco prevention and cessation to the state’s existing tobacco control program. These funds would be divided between the California Department of Public Health (80%) and the California Department of Education (20%) for their existing programs to prevent and reduce the use of tobacco.
  • 3% (approximately $23 million annually): Tobacco law enforcement "to support law enforcement efforts to reduce cigarette smuggling, tobacco tax evasion, and counterfeit tobacco products, to reduce illegal sales of tobacco products to minors, and to enforce legal settlement provisions and conduct law enforcement training and technical assistance activities for tobacco related statues".
  • No more than 2% (approximately $16 million annually): Administration.


The measure would have created a 9-member governing committee charged with administering the fund. The California Cancer Research Act Oversight Committee was to be composed of:[5]

Ballot qualification[edit]

The California Secretary of State confirmed that The California Cancer Research Act had qualified for California’s next statewide ballot on August 24, 2010, after its supporting coalition submitted 633,453 voter signatures for verification in June 2010. To qualify, the measure required 433,971 signatures, or more.[6]

Election results[edit]

Results by county.
Tax on Cigarettes for Cancer Research
Choice Votes %
Referendum failed No 2,592,791 50.2
Yes 2,568,715 49.8
Total votes 5,161,506 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 23,713,027


See also[edit]


External links[edit]