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Lance Armstrong was able to beat cancer, but not the tobacco industry.

The industry pumped millions of dollars into ads to convince Californian voters that Proposition 29, which would have taxed every cigarette pack $1 more and put the money towards cancer research, was fundamentally flawed. Cycling champion Armstrong, however, was a strong proponent for the tax.

At last week’s presidential primary, the proposition was defeated 50.4% to 49.6%.

The Attorney General of California’s office said the additional five cent tax on each cigarette and equivalent tax increase on other tobacco products would have been put into a special fund to finance research and research facilities focused on detecting, preventing, treating and curing cancer, heart diseases and other tobacco-related diseases, and to finance prevention programs. It would have contributed tax revenues of about $735 million annually.

“The fact of the matter is,” said Armstrong, “the product [Big Tobacco] sells leads to about $9 billion in health care costs for California.”

Lance isn’t about to falter in his fight against cancer, though. Armstrong and his LIVESTRONG foundation are planning “the biggest bike ride in Austin history” to take place on 21 October. The event expects to raise millions of dollars that will be used in support of people affected by cancer.

To celebrate the foundation’s 15-year anniversary, this event will have an added bonus.

Individuals who register for any LIVESTRONG event by 24 June – the day of Armstrong’s first full Ironman competition – will have a chance to win an exciting prize:

  • Two tickets to Austin,
  • Meet and Greet with Lance Armstrong
  • Placement next to him at the starting line at the Austin ride

You can register for a Team LIVESTRONG event here.

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