Grandson of RJ Reynolds appears in 11th hour TV spot informing voters that 32 States have higher tobacco taxes than CA
LOS ANGELES, June 3, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Prop 29: Most in California are unaware that cigarettes in their State actually cost less, says Patrick Reynolds, grandson of tobacco company founder RJ Reynolds and an impassioned tobaccofree advocate. Reynolds, Executive Director of TobaccoFree.org, has just released a new TV spot two days before the election. He says voters who know that cigarettes are cheaper in California are more likely to vote Yes in this Tuesday's election on Proposition 29, the California ballot measure providing for a $1 tobacco tax hike.
As Reynolds speaks in the spot, a list of 32 State tobacco taxes all higher than California's scrolls up. One title remains static onscreen as the list scrolls: California 87 cents -- far below the national average of $1.46. Reynolds has posted the spot on YouTube and offered it to the Prop 29 campaign. The tobacco industry is spending over $40 million on ads to defeat the tax.
In the spot, Reynolds says, "A higher tobacco tax means fewer young people will start smoking, and more smokers will quit – and we'll all save on future health care costs."
Friday, Reynolds told AP and CNN, "I want voters to make a more informed decision about Prop 29. Getting a future measure on the ballot will cost millions, and as to the Legislature, a two-thirds vote is required to pass any new tax. If Prop 29 fails, we won't have this opportunity again for years. For over a decade, our Legislature has not increased our tobacco tax, while 47 other States did. If passed, California's tobacco tax will move from 33rd place to 16th among the States."
Reynolds is hoping the spot will be included in broadcast news coverage of Prop 29 in the days before the June 5th election. He is acting as a private citizen volunteer.
If passed, the measure will save 104,000 lives, stop 228,000 kids from smoking, and direct $735 million into life-saving cancer research, and also youth smoking prevention and cessation programs.
Download the TV spot in broadcast resolution: www.Tobaccofree.org/prop29
YouTube URL and full length press release: www.Tobaccofree.org