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California's Tobacco Propositions
Proposition 99 

In 1988, California voters enacted an initiative known as Proposition 99, which increased the tobacco tax by twenty-five cents a pack and devoted 20 percent of the money raised to fund a tobacco control program. Prop 99 was a watershed providing California with over $100 million a year for tobacco control in schools, communities, in counties and at the state level. In addition, nearly $20 million a year was instantly available to California researchers to conduct tobacco-related research. These programs were more far-reaching in scope and investment than any state or the federal government had attempted with tobacco control.

This selection of documents provides a look into the tobacco industry's campaign planning for No on 99 as well as strategies to divert funds from certain tobacco control programs and to manipulate the use of monies once the proposition went into effect.
Executive Summary Report on a California Statewide Poll (1987)

A survey of 816 registered voters in California (plus additional over-sampling of black and Hispanic voters) that shows strong support for the initiative and makes the point that the generally anti-tax California voters are willing to support a tobacco tax increase. The voters were particularly positive about supporting the initiative because of the ear-marking of funds for anti-tobacco education and medical care. The poll also proceeds to test various messages that might be used against the initiative and the ideas in this survey appear to have had a substantial influence on the way the campaign was ultimately run against Proposition 99.
Status and Campaign Plan for Tobacco Tax Initiative (1987)

This extensive memo discusses the tobacco industry's strategy to cultivate alliances with the California Medical Association and other groups to stop Proposition 99 before it started. Plans include the industry's effort to prevent the Prop 99 forces from achieving the necessary resources to even qualify the initiative for the ballot as well as infiltrating the legislature to prevent liberal organizations and labor unions from supporting the initiative.
California Tax Initiative Meeting - July 6, 1988 Tobacco Institute Board Room, Washington (1988)

This memo summarizes the creation of the California Tax Initiative Campaign and sets a campaign budget at $13.7 million.
Project California Proposal (1989)

A detailed plan to challenge the distribution of Prop 99 revenues, eliminate earmarking of those revenues, and develop an anti-excise tax coalition to prevent future tax proposals. The report discusses strengthening ties with medical groups, such as the CMA and hospitals, and identifies two grant recipients, the University of California and Department of Health Services Anti-Smoking programs, as major problems for the industry. The authors state "we must do everything possible to prevent these revenues from being used in their vigorous anti-smoking, public relations, or media program."
California (1990)

Memo from the Tobacco Institute discussing plans to dismantle Proposition 99 including ideas to encourage the legislature to intervene and to work with minority groups and the California Medical Association to develop opposition to the anti-tobacco advertising program.
California Review (1990)

Philip Morris inter-office memo containing a detailed analysis of the impact of the tax increase, concluding that the tax did in fact reduce consumption.
California: A Multifaceted Plan To Address the Negative Environment (1991)

Prepared by the Tobacco Institute State Activities Division, this is a detailed action plan to create a network of front groups to redirect Prop 99 funding away from anti-tobacco lobbying. Plans include the creation of RSVPS (Restaurants for Sensible Voluntary Policy on Smoking), strategies to focus on ventilation with ETS in the context of indoor air quality, adoption of a statewide smoking law with preemption, and efforts to prevent "lobbying" by anti-smoking groups funded by Prop 99.
California Anti-Smoking Campaign Funding (1991)

This memorandum summarizes different strategies for diverting monies away from the California Anti-Smoking Campaign funded by Prop 99. Included are the results of a public opinion survey showing arguments that could be used to divert the funds. There is also an extensive discussion of how RJ Reynolds could demonstrate enhanced credibility through its various "youth" programs, becoming a "part of the solution" to youth smoking as a way of justifying reductions in the Proposition 99 programs.
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