What Others Are Saying

Tom Torlakson

California State Superintendent of Instruction

These claims are not only preposterous, they are insulting to those of us committed to the education and well-being of California’s children. We know that increasing tobacco taxes reduces youth smoking. Tobacco companies know this too. That is why they are spending millions to obfuscate the provisions of Prop 56 and mislead voters about its impact on schools. As educators, neighbors, parents and grandparents, we aren’t fooled. Tobacco companies do not care about our children, they want to create a new generation of consumers.

Jim Wunderman

President and CEO of the Bay Area Council

Cigarettes and other tobacco products cost California $18 billion in health problems and lost productivity, not to mention the enormous human and emotional toll from sickness and death that smoking exacts on families, children and workers. Proposition 56 will help protect future generations against smoking, improve health, reduce healthcare costs and increase productivity. It has our full-throated support.

Jeff Allred

President & CEO of the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership

Californians pay enormous costs that smoking inflicts on our state health, business communities, economy, and taxpayers. Increasing the cost of tobacco is widely recognized as the most effective way to reduce smoking, especially by young people. Reducing smoking saves lives and health costs.

Tracy Hernandez

BizFed Founding CEO

California’s employers are paying a premium for the health problems and lost productivity caused by tobacco use. Prop 56 will help alleviate the costs California employers are shouldering.

Justine Fischer

California State PTA President

California State PTA is proud to stand up for the health and education of our children with our strong endorsement of Prop 56. Studies show tobacco taxes reduce teen smoking, and Prop 56 puts more money for smoking prevention programs right into our classrooms.

Gary Toebben

President and CEO of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Healthy employees are a key to business success. Prop 56 is an important opportunity to improve the health of our employees, the well-being of their families, and the strength of California’s workforce. The Chamber is proud to support this initiative.

California Lt. Gov Gavin Newsom

Prop. 56 gives voters the power to Save Lives and protect the next generation from a costly, deadly smoking habit. As a father of four, I’m endorsing the Save Lives initiative and standing up once again to the tobacco companies’ relentless, predatory targeting of our kids. With Big Tobacco using new tools like e-cigarettes to hook our kids on a lifelong addiction, it’s more important than ever that California take the lead and save lives by voting “YES” on Prop. 56.

Antonio Villaraigosa

Former Los Angeles Mayor

I am proud to stand with the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the entire Save Lives California coalition behind this lifesaving measure. Although we have made some great strides, we cannot stand down from safeguarding children from tobacco’s deadly addiction. Californians must take the lead in preventing a new generation from cancer and other deadly and costly tobacco-related diseases.

Alice A. Huffman

President of the California National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

The tobacco industry has for decades relentlessly and unconscionably marketed its dangerous products to black communities, and in particular young African Americans. Tragically, as a result, African Americans in California smoke at higher rates and die in greater numbers. The number climbs even higher among low-income African Americans.

Areva Martin

Founder of the Special Needs Network, Advocate and TV host

We have seen a shocking rise in e-cigarette use among teens and the crumbling of decades of progress in preventing youth from picking up the deadly tobacco habit. We must do everything in our power to protect children and save lives, and this initiative will do that for California.

Alex Johnson

Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund-California

This ballot initiative protects children in vulnerable communities and provides them with a better chance at a healthy future. The initiative will help to lower teen smoking rates while improving children’s health through Medi-Cal, a program primarily serving children.

Mayra E. Alvarez

President of The Children’s Partnership

The tobacco industry has a long history of targeting children and youth, especially in communities of color. The rise in use of e-cigarettes among teens is reversing the tremendous progress made over the past fifty years in reducing smoking among youth. By curtailing the use of tobacco products, the ballot initiative will make California, the state with the largest number of children in the nation, a leader in protecting our children, investing in their future, and saving lives.

Tom Steyer

Business Leader and Philanthropist

The tobacco industry addicts thousands of children in California every year, but in 2016 we can protect our children by voting for the Save Lives California initiative. Research shows that higher tobacco costs prevent young people from ever picking up the deadly smoking habit in the first place. This initiative will help protect the next generation of Californians from terrible diseases like cancer and emphysema – and will save taxpayers money by reducing the costs related to these diseases.

Olivia Diaz-Lapham

President and CEO of the American Lung Association in California

California has long been a leader in the fight against big tobacco, but today, our tobacco tax is among the lowest in the nation. Increasing the tax will save lives and protect children. Tobacco is the single biggest cause of preventable death in the state and we cannot retreat in our efforts to reduce smoking rates.

Rick Zbur

Executive director of Equality California

The use of tobacco products is a serious public health problem for members of the LGBT community. With tobacco companies focused on luring LGBT teens into addiction, this initiative is our opportunity to help save lives, reduce smoking and improve healthcare for members of the LGBT community and for all of California.

Ken Wallis, D.D.S.

California Dental Association President

Voters are ready to stand up to Big Tobacco’s predatory targeting of young people and minority communities. This survey’s findings build on the momentum of our growing coalition, which includes a wide array of people and groups committed to healthy communities and a healthy economy. Voters are poised and ready to save lives and ask smokers to pay their fair share to improve health care and fight cancer.

Steven Larson, M.D., M.P.H.

California Medical Association President

Sadly, we see tobacco’s deadly and costly toll every day in our hospitals and clinics. Cancer and other tobacco-related diseases kill more people than car accidents, murder, suicide, alcohol, illegal drugs, and AIDS combined. The heart of this initiative is simple: Taxing tobacco saves lives by getting people to quit or never start smoking. The only people who will pay are those who smoke. If you don’t smoke, you don’t pay.

Elizabeth Martin

Cancer survivor and ACS CAN voluntary legislative ambassador

It is unconscionable that the tobacco industry is targeting children for a lifetime of addiction with candy-flavored electronic cigarettes containing nicotine with popular children’s themes such as Hello Kitty, Minions, Barbie, and Hot Wheels. We cannot, and will not, be fooled. Nicotine is dangerous and addictive, no matter how it is delivered.

Chris Ungar

California School Boards Association President

The California School Boards Association stands in strong support of this initiative, which will protect children from a deadly habit. It will save lives by preventing young people from starting to smoke, improving existing health programs that provide care to half the state’s school children, helping smokers quit and stemming the dangerous rise of e-cigarette use among teens.

Theresa Martinez

Los Angeles Latino Chamber of Commerce (LALCC) Chief Executive Officer

Tobacco takes a heavy toll on the Latino community. Decades of relentless marketing from tobacco companies has caused Latinos to suffer significant health consequences as a result. There are also troubling signs of increases in tobacco usage among young Latinos, including a fast adoption of e-cigarettes.

Cástulo de la Rocha

AltaMed Health Services president and CEO

Smoking causes a number of preventable illnesses that put public health in jeopardy. The resources generated by this initiative would help fund healthcare programs that make a direct impact on improving access to care for underserved populations.