June 1, 2012 - Press Release
Elected Officials, Health Advocates & Community Leaders Denounce
Tobacco Company Lies About Prop. 29 & Urge AAPIs To Vote On Election Day
San Gabriel, CA – Asian American & Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) elected officials, community leaders, & health advocates convened a press conference to urge AANHPI voters to ignore misleading ads funded by the tobacco industry & vote for Prop. 29, the California Cancer Research Act, on June 5th, 2012. Advocates countered the misleading claims by the tobacco industry with the following facts:
The new $1 tobacco tax will save 104,000 lives; stop 228,000 kids from smoking; and generate approximately $735 million every year to support life-saving research and tobacco prevention programs. Prop. 29 will only increase taxes on those who smoke. The $1-per-pack increase is projected to prevent 225,000 Californian kids from becoming addicted smokers and prevent over 104,000 premature smoking-caused deaths, because many current smokers will quit.
Prop. 29 will reduce state healthcare costs and spur economic growth. By driving down smoking rates, Prop 29 is projected to save $5.1 billion in smoking-caused healthcare costs funded by the state. By injecting tobacco revenue into California’s bio-science industry, Prop 29 is projected to create 12,000 new jobs and $1.9 billion in new economic activity. Prop 29’s language is clear: tobacco tax revenue must be spent in California. Section Two of the Act states: “Grants and loans for biomedical epidemiological, behavioral, health services and other research IN CALIFORNIA..." Section Two states: "Creation, staffing and equipping of CALIFORNIA research facilities…" 9 experts in the field of bio-science will be appointed to decide how cancer research funds can be most effectively used to beat cancer. Prop 29 has tough public annual audits and criminal penalties for misuse of funds to ensure that every dollar is spent properly.
“I urge the Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities to vote YES for Proposition 29. Proposition 29 will raise vital research funds and prevention of smoking and cancer related illnesses that stem from smoking. As the Assembly member who represents the only majority Asian American and Pacific Islander District in California, I am concerned about the impact that smoking has in our community. In California, 21% of Asian-American Adults are smokers and represents that second highest rate of smokers after African-Americans. Approximately 15,000-20,000 Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders will die every year because of tobacco related illnesses,” said Assembly Member Mike Eng in a written statement.
More than 17% of all AANHPI adults smoke. Approximately 15,000-20,000 AANHPI will die annually because of tobacco related illnesses. AANHPIs are the only ethnic community where cancer is the leading cause of death.
Featured speakers included: Montebello School Board Member Ed Chau; Ling Wu, American Cancer Society Asian American Pacific Islanders Team; Diane Ujiiye, Exec. Dir. of Asian Pacific Islanders California Action Network; and David Ryu, Policy Dir. Of the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council (A3PCON).
Asian language materials available at: www.californiansforacure.org/asianamerican