In Colorado, a new campaign aims at raising the tobacco tax by $1.75. The name of the action is Initiative 143, and the supporters say the campaign will help create a healthier Colorado.
If the campaign manages to get any results, the state of Colorado will change the tobacco tax for the first time in a dozen years.
Earlier this year, the cigarette sale rose for the first time in years, with almost 194.4 million packs sold in 2015. The change in trend made many health care experts to be concerned and to search for new ways to prevent people from taking up smoking.
Consequently, one official from the Department of Radiology involved in the campaign stresses the fact that increasing the cost is an effective method to reduce smoking.
The initiators say that the price change would prevent children from gaining access to cigarettes, and to consume them on a regular basis.
The initiative is also supported by the Cancer Clinical Trials Office from the University of Colorado. The director of the office said that a part of the extra money should be invested in education programs that will help children and adults stay away from smoking.
Tobacco Tax Changes
Only in Colorado, smoking kills more than 5,000 people every year and costs the state $1.8 billion in health care and related services.
The average price of tobacco in the Colorado is around $5.55. Out of the amount, the tax would be around $1.63 for each pack. The smokers pay 84 cents from the tax, while the rest is paid by the producer.
The proposed tax would be of $2.59, which would make the price for cigarettes reach a total of $8.14 per pack.
The new tobacco tax would bring an extra $315 million every year to the state budget. The money will be invested in veterans’ health care and behavioral services, in cancer research, and more.
The Signature List
The tobacco tax campaign is supported by more than 50 organizations, including universities, medical experts, advocacy groups, and healthcare associations.
Until now, the initiative managed to obtain 35,000 signatures. The goal of the campaign is to reach 160,000 supporters in the next five weeks, while the total number necessary for the proposal to be considered by the Senate is of 98,000.
The Regional Advocacy Director of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is quite confident over the success of the initiative.
In the US, the highest tobacco tax is in New York, with a $4.35 per pack, and the lowest is in Missouri, with a value of just 17 cents.
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