Boulder On Tobacco: Bans Flavored Nicotine, Ups Legal Age And Asks Voters To Decide on Tax

September 4, 2019

Boulder voters will get to decide this November on a 40 percent sales tax on e-cigarette products.

A new state law allows municipalities to levy their own taxes and not miss out on state tobacco tax money. Colorado already has a state excise tax of 40 percent.

Boulder's City Council Tuesday also joined Carbondale, Aspen and Glenwood Springs in banning the sale of flavored nicotine products like JUUL pods. They also raised the legal age to purchase tobacco to 21. As did Carbondale and Glenwood Springs.

The restrictions are intended to cut down on teen vaping. Colorado tops the nation in youth e-cigarette use.

Other places in Colorado are also asking voters to decide on new tobacco taxes.

Pitkin County's commissioners last week voted to put their own tobacco tax question on the Nov. 5 municipal ballot. If approved, the tax of $3.20 per pack of cigarettes and 40 percent on all other tobacco and nicotine products would go into effect on January 2020. Eagle County also has similar proposals pending.

Glenwood Springs also approved a sales tax ballot question for November. That proposal would add $4 to a pack of cigarettes and impose a 40-percent tax on the price of all other tobacco products sold in Glenwood Springs, should it pass.

Carbondale's new restrictions also require tobacco retailers to be licensed by the town. Its ban on flavored vaping products is mostly symbolic, as the town does not have any dedicated vaping shops.

Garfield County decided Tuesday not to put a new tobacco tax on its November ballot.