Colorado voters will get to decide this fall whether to increase the state’s tobacco tax after backers turned in enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.
If it passes, the tax would increase by a $1.75 a pack for cigarettes and 22-percent for other tobacco products.
Those new tax dollars would go to a long list of causes: anti-smoking programs, medical research into smoking-related illnesses, veterans’ health care, youth mental health programs and student loan relief for rural doctors.
Almost 18 percent of Colorado adults are tobacco smokers, according the Centers for Disease Control. That’s slightly lower than the national rate.