Bloomberg Takes on Big Tobacco
NYC's Mayor steps up anti-smoking efforts by donating his own cash to support for California's Proposition 29.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is apparently passionate about fighting tobacco companies: he's contributed $500,000 to support Proposition 29 on California's upcoming June 1 ballot, and challenges supporters to match his amount. The measure, which is set to appear on the June 5 ballot in California, aims to reduce smoking especially among youth, and would add an additional $1 per pack cigarette tax—money that will be used for research on smoking-related diseases. "Every day, tobacco kills. Right now, big tobacco is pouring tens of millions into California to defeat a common-sense measure that would help reduce tobacco use, and something has to be done about it," Bloomberg said in a statement. The mayor decided to put forward his own money to counter the $40 million that tobacco companies have kicked up to fight Prop 29. “It’s time to level the playing field,” he added, urging potential backers to "do everything we can to help make Proposition 29 become a reality, because it will save lives." Those in favor of Prop 29 say it would generate around $735 million a year for cancer research and illnesses related to smoking.