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California Votes to Protect Kids from Tobacco and Reject Tobacco Industry’s Attempts to Undermine Health

(November 9, 2016) - CHICAGO

For more information please contact:

Allison MacMunn
[email protected]

Statement of American Lung Association National President and CEO Harold P. Wimmer in response to the results of tobacco tax ballot initiatives:

"Fewer kids will start smoking and more smokers will quit thanks to the overwhelming vote by the people of the state of California voting in favor of Proposition 56. The American Lung Association joins with all Californians celebrating this public health win.

"The Lung Association was proud to help lead the broad coalition of organizations in support of Proposition 56, which included business organizations, health plans, labor unions, faith groups, advocates for children and many others. As a result of our collective efforts, California"'s tobacco tax will increase to prevent kids from starting to use tobacco as well as fund tobacco prevention programs, vital cancer research and other state health programs. 

"The tobacco industry spent close to $100 million trying to confuse voters and defeat ballot initiatives in 2016 – including at least $71 million alone in California. Fortunately their attempt failed to undermine one of the most effective ways that states can prevent and reduce tobacco use. The voters rejected their false claims and deceptive ads, and instead voted for the health and well-being of Californians.

"The American Lung Association is disappointed two similar tobacco tax initiatives in Colorado and North Dakota fell short at the ballot box. The Lung Association remains committed to working to eliminating tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases, and we will continue to push proven policies to reduce tobacco use in all states to save lives. In 2017, we will work in communities, state houses and Washington to pass measures to protect our children and help every tobacco user quit."

Learn more about tobacco use and lung health at For media interested in speaking with an expert about tobacco use and lung health, contact the American Lung Association at [email protected] or 312-801-7628.


About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

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