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The tobacco industry spent more than $84 million in advertising efforts to defeat ballot initiatives that would affect taxes on tobacco products and smoking restrictions in six states. Their efforts were not a lost cause, as initiatives were shot down in two states. However, five measures did pass that will affect both cigarettes and other tobacco products (OTP), the Winston-Salem Journal reported.
Proposition 86, a ballot to increase California's cigarette tax by $2.60 to $3.47 a pack, was rejected by a 52 percent margin. The increase, if passed, would have resulted in the highest cigarette tax in the country. Reynolds American and Philip Morris, among others, spent approximately $65 million to defeat the proposal in California, the report stated.
Elsewhere, Missouri also voted down an initiative by 51 percent that would have increased the tax on cigarettes by 80 cents a pack and OTP products by 20 cents.
The tobacco industry was not as successful in Arizona, South Dakota, Nevada and Ohio. Arizona voters approved a measure to increase cigarette taxes by 80 cents a pack, and approved a proposal for more restrictive smoking regulations. South Dakota approved an initiative to increase the cigarette tax by $1 a pack. In addition, Nevada and Ohio both passed more restrictive smoking regulations, by 54 percent and 58 percent margins, respectively, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.