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Bid To Raise California Tobacco Tax Nears November Ballot

Luciano Belviso / Flickr
 

Luciano Belviso / Flickr

(AP) — Officials from a well-financed campaign whose backers include billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, medical groups and organized labor say it has collected enough signatures for a ballot measure to raise California's cigarette tax by $2 per pack.

The Save Lives California coalition scheduled a news conference Monday at the San Diego County Registrar of Voters office to submit the first signatures in a campaign to nearly triple California's cigarette tax. If enough signatures are verified, the measure would appear on an increasingly crowded Nov. 8 ballot.

The announcement comes less than a month after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation to make California the second state in the nation to raise the legal age to buy tobacco from 18 to 21.