It's a flat out lie. Big tobacco is trying to trick voters into thinking that Prop 56 will actually harm schools. In fact, proposition 56 provides for a tax that would benefit the education of California's youth, by raising revenues for school-based tobacco prevention and intervention programs.
The tobacco industry is FURIOUS and are resorting to a lot of different tactics to defeat it, including outright smears. Knowing they're likely to lose this battle, they're resorting to underhanded tactics like trying to force the name of the proposition to change so it misleads voters.
The real issue here is that Prop. 56 doesn't just tax cigarettes and cigars, but also vaping products, which are huge tobacco revenue streams right now. One of the reasons the proponents are so determined to tax them for education programs? They're marketed shamelessly to children. Take this product, for example:
That's a vaping pen. Here's the juice they sent along with it.
And they didn't fail to send along a little thank-you note with a discount code for the next order and an Instagram account to follow. How considerate of them.
Yes, they're selling this to kids as an entry drug to lifelong addiction, and Prop. 56 aims to educate kids about that before it's too late.
From the press release:
Big Tobacco challenges Prop. 56 ballot title in effort to mislead voters; Judge to hear case Thursday in Sacramento
WHAT: A Sacramento Superior Court Judge will hear arguments in an effort by tobacco companies to change the title of Proposition 56 to prop up their false claims that the initiative does not provide funding for education. The lawsuit is a flagrant attempt by out-of-state tobacco companies who already have spent $36 million fighting Prop. 56 to circumvent California’s elected elections officials.
WHEN: 9 a.m. Friday, August 12, 2016
WHERE: Sacramento Superior Court
720 9th Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Department 31 (Judge Kenny)
Here's the letter drafted by State Superintendent of Schools Tom Torlakson: