What is Proposition 29?
Proposition 29 on the June ballot is a new $1 tobacco tax – paid only by those who purchase tobacco products. According to public health experts Prop 29 will save 104,000 lives; stop 228,000 kids from smoking; and generate approximately $735 million every year to support life-saving research and tobacco prevention programs.
· 60% for cancer and other smoking-related research (approximately $441 million annually)
· 20% for tobacco use prevention and smoking cessation (approximately $147 million annually)
· 15% for facilities and equipment to support research (approximately $110 million annually)
· 3% to enforce anti-tobacco laws and stop tobacco smuggling (approximately $22 million annually)
· 2% is the maximum amount used for administering the program (approximately $15 million)
Why should research matter to the African American Community?
African Americans continue to suffer disproportionately from chronic and preventable disease. Smoking and other tobacco use are major contributors to the three leading causes of death in African Americans- heart disease, cancer, and stroke. Proposition 29 will generate funding for research into all of these diseases.
In California, African American males have the highest overall cancer incidence and mortality rates. Although non-Hispanic white women are the most likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer, African American women are more likely to die from the disease. African Americans have substantially higher rates of cancers of the stomach, liver, larynx, myeloma, and Kaposi’s sarcoma than non-Hispanic whites. African American men are at especially high risk for prostate cancer, more than any other racial and ethnic group.
High cancer incidence and mortality rates equate to a great need for, and benefit from, cancer research.
Cancer research has led to evidence based screening recommendations, improved detection and treatment, as well as quality of life improvements for individuals battling cancer and those that have survived the disease. The more we learn through cancer research, the more likely we are to continue finding improvements for preventing, detecting and treating cancer, and one day finding a cure.