Tobacco Tax to Fund Critical Health Needs Heads to Colorado Voters

Written by: Erin Miller
Date Posted: August 26, 2016


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

Erin Miller

About Erin Miller

As the Vice President of Child Health Initiatives, Erin leads the health policy work of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. She has led successful policy initiatives to expand access to health insurance coverage for Coloradans without proper documentation, strengthen the state’s Maternal Mortality Review Committee, improve access to school lunches, expand access to family planning services and oral health care, and improve pregnancy-related behavioral health. Her professional experiences include service as a WIC Educator and Local Area Retail Coordinator, a Special Assistant in the HHS Office of Planning and Evaluation, a Health Policy Adviser and Budget Analyst for the U.S. House Budget Committee and working with stakeholders in the Colorado Medicaid Program. Erin graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder and earned a Master’s in Public Health from Columbia University.