Updated at 10:05 A.M.
The ballot measure that would raise an estimated $810 million a year for cancer research by imposing an additional one dollar tax on a pack of cigarettes is still too close to call, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Ricardo Quinto, a spokesman for the Yes on 29 campaign, said his group is not conceding defeat. With an estimated 200,000 mail-in votes remaining to be counted, the Yes votes trailed by more than 60,000 votes out of 3.8 million ballots already counted.
"Yes" votes account for 50.8 percent of the vote, with 49.2 percent in the "No" column.
Updated at 5:54 A.M.
A measure that would have raised the California state tax on a pack of cigarettes by a dollar has failed, but the vote was close.
With all precincts reporting, the Secretary of State's office says Proposition 29 lost, with almost 51 per cent of voters rejecting it, and just over 49 per cent voting for it.
The measure carried in only 17 of California's 58 counties. It won majorities in the Bay Area and coastal counties, but lost almost all of inland California. Proposition 29 won majorities in Yolo and Solano Counties, but failed in Sacramento County.
Prop 29 would raise the tax on cigarettes by a dollar a pack and spend the money on cancer research. It led in the polls all the way to Election Day, but its lead steadily dwindled. Yes on 29 Campaign Manager Chris Lehman:
Lehman: "We had $47 million of a barrage from the tobacco industry coming at us for the last seven, eight weeks straight - and looks like we're hanging in there and hopefully we can pull this out."
Julian Canete with the California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce says the No on 29 side simply made a compelling case:
Canete: "There've been campaigns that have spent just as much and lost. We're still waiting for the numbers to come in. But what we did was inform the voters of those key facts of a flawed proposition."
California voters rejected a similar ballot measure in 2006. They last raised the tobacco tax in 1998.