Rob Reiner is opposing a California ballot initiative that would raise money for hospitals through a $1.50-a-pack cigarette tax hike. Reiner is worried that the initiative will threaten his pet project, the First 5 California program, a preschool enrichment boondoggle that relies on a 50-cent-a-pack tax hike approved by voters in 1998. "If the state increased cigarette taxes as proposed by the hospitals," the Associated Press notes, "purchases would inevitably decline as smokers shop elsewhere for lower prices or give up the habit. If fewer cigarettes are sold in the state, tax collections will decline. In turn, First 5 would receive less money."
Keep on smoking, folks. It's for the kids.
[Thanks to Lisa Snell for the clip.]