tobacco tax

Last year, the town of Avon got little resistance from its residents when it asked them to approve a $3 tax on every pack of cigarettes sold in the town.

Town Council member Scott Prince said it was supported by more than 70 percent of voters.

"There was zero campaigning done on behalf of that tax measure," Prince said. "It really speaks volumes about the residents and how much people see the impacts of tobacco and cigarette products."

The Denver Post

If a new Colorado amendment passes, taxes on a pack of cigarettes could go from 84 cents a pack to $2.59 a pack, reports The Denver Post.

Big tobacco is making a big push to ensure that voters reject the measure next month. Tobacco companies have pumped millions into advertising and other get-out-the-vote efforts. Altria, the parent company of tobacco giant Philip Morris, has contributed over $16 million toward defeating Amendment 72.

Emily Deshazer / Topeka Capital-Journal

Over the past 18 years Kansas has been paid slightly more than $1 billion by tobacco companies, officials said Monday. As The Topeka Capital-Journal reports, the money has come from annual payments to compensate for the health consequences of smoking. The money came as part of a 1999 legal settlement to resolve claims by 45 states, including Kansas.

AP photo

The state of Kansas has been facing the prospect of losing $60 million in annual tobacco payments. The money currently funds children’s programs such as early childhood development and reading comprehension.

Stephen Koranda / kansaspublicradio.org

Health care advocates are calling for Kansas lawmakers to increase tobacco taxes to help fill a budget hole of more than $400 million. Dr. Roy Jensen, with the University of Kansas Cancer Center, says the governor’s proposed tax increase on tobacco could cause thousands of Kansans to quit or never start smoking. He says that could save the state a billion dollars in health care costs in the coming decades and possibly prevent up to 15,000 deaths. 

Rep. Don Hill, a Republican from Emporia, introduced a bill last year that would have raised the state’s cigarette tax by $1.50 per pack.

The bill died in the House Taxation Committee, where the chairman, Rep. Richard Carlson, a Republican from St. Marys, did not deem it worthy of a hearing.