When we last checked in nearly three weeks ago, supporters and opponents of Proposition 29, which would increase a cigarette tax by $1 per pack, were probably tempted to chain-smoke away the nerves from too-close-to-call election results.
Now you can dump those ashtrays, because the ballot initiative appears to have been defeated.
Technically, as of the weekend, there were still some 100,000 uncounted ballots. But an Associated Press analysis concluded that the contest was already decided, and on Friday the “Yes on 29” campaign conceded defeat.
For tobacco companies, it was $47 million well spent. To put that amount in perspective, the San Jose Mercury News notes that “Jerry Brown spent about $36 million in his successful 2010 bid to become governor of California. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his allies spent $47 million to beat back his recall challenge on June 5.”