ACS CAN Urges Yes Vote on Avon's Tobacco Tax Increase on November Ballot
Tobacco Tax Increase Would Reduce Tobacco Use, Save Healthcare Costs and Generate New Revenue for the Community
AVON, Colo. – The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, urges voters to check ‘yes’ on Avon’s Ballot Issue 2B. It would raise taxes on cigarettes by $3 per pack and increase the price of other tobacco products, including e-cigarettes, by 40 percent.
"Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death, and Big Tobacco has fought every effort to raise the tobacco tax statewide in Colorado," said ACS CAN Colorado Government Relations Director R.J. Ours. "Significant tax increases like this one in Avon prevent new users from starting a lifetime addiction and help adults who want to quit. But that puts a big dent in the tobacco industry’s profits. We are grateful to Avon’s Town Council for giving citizens the chance to vote in favor of local tobacco control. It will save lives and bring cost savings to the community."
Colorado has not raised its tobacco taxes since 2005. The current tax of 84 cents per pack of cigarettes is one of the lowest in the nation, ranking 39th out of all states. The cheap price is one reason why 2,400 Colorado kids become new daily smokers each year. Colorado teens also use e-cigarettes at alarming rates. The latest data show 27 percent of the state’s high schoolers use these products, twice the national average.
Roughly 5,100 Coloradans lose their lives annually to tobacco use, and nearly 26 percent of all cancer deaths in the state are caused by smoking. Smoking-related illness in the Centennial State costs nearly $1.9 billion a year, including roughly $386 million in Medicaid costs. Additionally, the lost productivity from smoking costs Colorado $1.27 billion annually. These amounts do not include health costs caused by exposure to secondhand smoke, fires caused by smoking, smokeless tobacco use, or cigar and pipe smoking.
ACS CAN, the nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate of the American Cancer Society, supports evidence-based policy and legislative solutions designed to eliminate cancer as a major health problem. ACS CAN works to encourage elected officials and candidates to make cancer a top national priority. ACS CAN gives ordinary people extraordinary power to fight cancer with the training and tools they need to make their voices heard. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org. ACS CAN Colorado is located at 10065 E. Harvard Avenue, Suite 400, Denver, CO 80231.
# # #