Colorado Ballot Initiative Would Raise Tobacco Tax

Voters in Colorado could see a ballot initiative in November that would increase the tobacco tax to fund healthcare for children and the poor, the Boulder Daily Camera reported June 4.

The Citizens for a Healthier Colorado initiative would increase Colorado’s cigarette taxes by 64 cents a pack and constitutionally require that proceeds fund low-income healthcare programs, such as Children’s Basic Health Plan and Medicaid. The initiative also earmarks funding for tobacco prevention.

Activist Evan Ravitz is currently collecting the necessary signatures to place the petition on the ballot. He said Colorado residents are supportive of the initiative. “Even smokers are signing it,” Ravitz said. “It’s amazing.”

Colorado has one of the lowest tobacco tax rates in the country. Initiative organizers said increasing the tobacco tax would curb youth smoking and assist low-income households with no medical insurance.