Colorado has cheaper cigarettes than most of the country, for now

(Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

staff photo

A pack of cigarettes in Colorado costs $5.26, cheaper than in 39 other states, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

That price could increase by $1.75 per pack if the advocacy group successfully asks voters to approve a major increase to the state’s tobacco tax this November.

In total, Colorado’s total state taxes on cigarettes would jump from 40th highest in the nation to 11th.

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A cigarette burns in black and white. (Denis Defreyne, <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/denisdefreyne/1148931440/in/photolist-2KwzhL-cujWtu-r2CAks-aNUoD-essWW-7afQKS-p2JYR-9YChLZ-955bn7-6GZfaZ-bWQGU-gaWMGy-5RLFqH-kTDwc-hoDF-dEMcLv-fmXy7c-4tgs4L-4CWBko-s8dPtv-6JNJRk-cGtWcE-76DRZn-ahbVPW-62xHGz-btTEZa-6JSPuh-9WxRv7-g5LvKo-aiBtg9-oJ7V3N-6NGgwj-39LCQy-bMk2TX-61MFZW-8gKi7X-6qugtQ-emT2X-9Y8WeF-nQMNQC-7NUJww-9H2vDg-55cjkU-ffALTu-aGBJMV-cdvXhy-5qHHzq-a5RPFn-ahbVQG-95Z7S8">Flickr</a>)

The idea, obviously, is that increased costs will continue to drive down the percentage of people who smoke. That’s happening already, but the rate of decline is slowing, according to the state.

Proposed Initiative 143 specifically would change the state excise tax on cigarettes, raising it from $0.84 to $2.59 per pack, if it’s approved by voters. However, supporters must collect close to 100,000 signatures before voters are asked to weigh in.

The change reportedly could bring in $315 million per year in new tax revenues, which would pay for smoking prevention and cessation efforts, as well as veterans’ health and other programs, the Denver Post reports.

What the proposal wouldn’t touch, though, is the increasing popularity of tobacco-vapor products.