Lance Armstrong to give $1.5 million to push California tobacco tax

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Former Tour de France champion and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong will announce a $1.5-million donation to Proposition 29, the June ballot measure in California that would create a new $1-per-pack tax on cigarettes to pay for cancer research.

The donation will come from Armstrong’s Texas-based foundation, which spends millions every year promoting cancer awareness and funding cancer research.

Armstrong, who officially retired from professional cycling earlier this month, said the passage of Proposition 29 would be a personal priority this year. In 2007, Armstrong was instrumental in convincing Texas voters to pass a $3 billion bond measure to pay for cancer research.

Proposition 29 is backed by the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Assn. and the American Lung Assn. Its opponents include large tobacco companies and anti-tax advocates.


The measure is one of two initiatives that will be on the June 2012 ballot.


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-- Anthony York in Sacramento