By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
Enough Is Enough claims the initiative is merely an attempt by Arizona's hospitals to plunder taxpayers and improve their profits.
AHF says tobacco-related illnesses cost the state billions of dollars annually, and that the tax-funded education program will prevent teens from ever becoming hooked.
The anti-tobacco message has hit home in other states. Voters in California, Massachusetts and Michigan have approved tobacco-tax initiatives--25 cents per pack in California and Massachusetts and 50 cents in Michigan.
A similar initiative is in the signature-raising stage in Colorado. That measure would increase the tax on cigarettes by 50 cents per package. Officials at the Colorado office of the American Cancer Society say pro-tax petitioners have encountered only minor opposition form the general public and have noticed no organized opposition against the proposal.
Matt Madonna, executive vice president of the Arizona chapter of the American Cancer Society, says tobacco-tax foes here have gone so far as to attempt to purchase signed petitions from AHF circulators.
"There have been attempts to buy our petitions off the street," Madonna says.
Duhon denies that claim.
"They have all these allegations out there but they have yet to prove one," he says. "They just throw [them out] hoping that some of them will stick.