It now is official. Smokers can puff away without having to pay more in California cigarette taxes.
For a brief time after the June 5 vote, it looked like Proposition 29, which would have raised the state cigarette excise tax by $1 a pack, might have a chance at becoming law.
But Golden State voters narrowly defeated the ballot initiative, according to full precinct results that were posted Friday, June 22, on the California Secretary of State website.
The tax, which would have gone primarily to cancer research projects, lost by 50.3 percent to 49.7 percent.
Around 100,000 absentee and other ballots are yet to be counted, but analysis of the June voting trends indicates that there aren't enough ballots from areas that supported the tax to overcome the deficit.
Cigarette tax advocates on Friday conceded defeat, but borrowing the cinematic words of their former governor, vowed that they'd be back.
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