SAN FRANCISCO — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given half a million dollars to a campaign supporting a California initiative that would raise the state’s cigarette tax to fund cancer research.
Bloomberg challenged supporters of Proposition 29 this week to match that amount, hoping to raise a total of $1 million to help pass the June ballot measure.
The measure championed by cycling legend and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong would add a $1 per pack cigarette tax.
Bloomberg says he put up the money to counter the nearly $40 million contributed by major tobacco companies, whose opposing campaign says the measure would create a bureaucracy that could send tax dollars out of state.
In his decade in office, Bloomberg has expanded his city’s no-smoking policies, banning cigarettes in workplaces, parks and beaches.
—Copyright 2012 Associated Press