Tobacco Tax to Fund Critical Health Needs Heads to Colorado Voters
Colorado voters will be asked to vote for a tobacco tax in November to raise money for critical unmet health needs for all Coloradans, especially those most impacted by tobacco use. It will also fully fund tobacco education programs to reduce smoking, particularly among young people.
This initiative is supported by the Colorado Children’s Campaign and others such as the Healthier Colorado, United Veterans Committee of Colorado, Children’s Hospital Colorado, the American Heart Association, and the American Lung Association, to name a few. The Campaign for a Healthy Colorado is leading the effort to reach out to voters and needs help—click here to learn more.
Every year, more than 5,000 Coloradans—most of whom started smoking as teenagers—die from tobacco-related illnesses. This measure will fully fund programs to reduce tobacco use in Colorado by keeping kids from starting to smoke and helping smokers quit.
This measure also will improve the lives of all Coloradans by making the largest investment in state history into cutting-edge, tobacco-related research at our best medical and research centers. This investment, which is required to be spent only at in-state research facilities, will result in new treatments for the prevention and detection of cancer, heart and lung disease, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as research into early-childhood development. Funding will also support mental and behavioral health care for Colorado kids and access to health care in rural and underserved areas.
The tax—an increase of $1.75 on a pack of cigarettes and a 22 percent increase on other tobacco products like cigars and chewing tobacco—will raise approximately $315 million annually in the first years. For more information about where the money would go, visit www.healthyco2016.com/benefits.