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Save Lives California


The California Healthcare, Research, and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 is a ballot initiative to increase California’s cigarette tax by $2 per pack, with an equivalent increase in the tax on other tobacco products like chew and e-cigarettes. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, and American Lung Association in California are standing up to Big Tobacco to save lives and help smokers quit.


  • Save lives. Smoking is the number-one cause of preventable death in California. This initiative will help people quit smoking. The money will be used to improve healthcare and to fund research to find cures for cancer and other smoking-related diseases.
  • Tax only tobacco users. If you don’t use tobacco, you won’t pay. This is simply a user fee on those who choose to keep using dangerous tobacco products. Each year, tobacco-related diseases cost Californians billions of dollars.
  • Prevent teens from becoming addicted. Thousands of youth become addicted to tobacco each year. This tax will reduce teen tobacco use and help fund law enforcement efforts to crack down on those who sell tobacco products to minors.


YOU are the WHO!

This initiative can only be successful if we each commit to gathering valid signatures from among our friends, families, and coworkers. There will be a paid signature gathering campaign as well to complement our volunteer signature gathering, but we play an important role in gathering a significant portion of the roughly 700,000 signatures necessary to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. Every signature we gather helps us show Big Tobacco that we have not given up and that we will continue to fight for a tobacco-free California!


Here’s EVERYTHING you need to know to collect valid signatures on the enclosed petitions and help get the California Healthcare, Research, and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act of 2016 on the ballot!

  • Email the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) to have a petition mailed to you (include your physical mailing address).
  • Tell the potential petition signer that you are collecting signatures on a petition to raise the tax on tobacco to save lives and discourage kids from starting to smoke. In most cases, that is all they need to hear. If they want to know more, click here for a fact sheet.
  • Ask them if they are a registered voter in California. If not, suggest they register before November so they can vote yes on this initiative. If yes, continue.
  • Ask them what county they live in. Write that county in line marked “All signers of this petition must be registered in …” on the petition sheet. That sheet can now ONLY be used for voters in that county. If the next person is from a different county, start a new sheet. It is fine if you only have one or two signatures on a sheet. But the entire sheet will be rejected if there is more than one county represented on one sheet, so this point is very important!
  • Watch the person fill out the petition to be sure that they complete all the sections. They need to sign and print their name as they are registered to vote, print their complete residence street address (no post office boxes or business addresses), and all of the printing must be legible.
  • Once you have one or more signatures on each of your petitions, it is time to fill out the Declaration of Circulator (that’s YOU) on each petition and send them to the office that sent them. Please fill out the declaration completely, including your residence address, the date you collected the first signature, the date you collected the final signature, and the date that you sign and return the petitions. If this is filled out incorrectly, none of the signatures on the petition will count, so please take your time and focus on accuracy! Thank you!

For more detailed instructions, click here to watch this video!

We’d love to see you in action. Tag pictures and posts of your signature gathering efforts #SaveLivesCA.

You can find us on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram @SaveLivesCA.

If you need more petitions, let your local office know!

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