STATES CHRONICLE – Tobacco use is still seen as a large problem in the state of Colorado. Sometimes in the fall season of this year, voters will decide if raising the cigarette tax to over $2 per pack is the best thing to do.
There are not many places in the United States where the cigarette tax is as high as more than $2 per pack. Some parties see it as a drastic discouragement of continuing the habit. Most smokers, however, see it as the government taking full advantage of people suffering from tobacco addiction.
“When you’re rising the price of cigarettes, all you’re doing is making poor people not buy fruit.” – Roisin Conaty
While both sides hold some truth, US governments, and to be closer the point of interest, the Colorado government, have used the capital gained from cigarette tax to fund programs meant to help people stop smoking, as well as campaigns meant to discourage young kids from using tobacco products.
The adult smoking programs did not work but in June 2016, recreational marijuana did become legal in the state of Colorado. The now-in-the-talks vote to raise cigarette tax almost feels like a strong nudge for tobacco users to switch to cannabis instead.
Kids, however, did give up smoking. More accurately, they no longer use regular tobacco products having switched to electronic cigarettes instead. Ever since then, studies have been showing that vaping has a negative impact of the immune system of anyone staying inside vape smoke clouds for too long.
This Is Not Colorado’s First Cigarette Tax
Nevertheless, economists have crunched the numbers and, after its first year, an estimated $315 million will end up in the coffers of the Colorado government if a pack of cigarettes ends having $2.59 tax.
Almost a third of a billion US dollars is good news for the Colorado programs and campaigns indeed. However, just by doing the math, this would mean that Colorado will on average be smoking over 335 thousand daily packs of tobacco cigarettes!
Statistically, one in 16 people in Colorado will buy at least one pack of cigarettes every day after the cigarette tax is increased.
The health implications are huge. People present in second-hand smoke are affected as well, suffering a severe risk of damage to their immune system. Not all commercial and public smoking areas of Colorado are isolated and closed off. Improper education and the refusal of awareness also still affects households where smoke is constantly part of the environment of young people.
If the cigarette tax vote does not pass this autumn, a pack of tobacco cigarettes will continue to have the 84c tax.
Photo Courtesy of Flickr.