Voters in the U.S. state of Colorado have overwhelmingly approved Proposition (Prop.) EE—a ballot measure that drastically increases the statewide nicotine and tobacco tax.
Prop. EE permits the creation of a tax on nicotine products that will finally cover e-cigarettes and other smoke-free products. The measure will also increase cigarette and tobacco taxes and dedicate revenues to various health and education programs.
Opponents to Prop. EE recognizes that the ballot measure will not keep kids from using tobacco and nicotine products. Convenience stores, liquor stores that sell tobacco products, specialty tobacconists, and vape retailers are outwardly opposed to Prop. EE because of the increase in in-store expenditure for cigarette and tobacco sales.
Currently, a 20 cents per pack tax rate is the law or one cent per cigarette per pack. Previously, the state passed constitutional Amendment 35 in 2004, which authorized a constitutional tax that tacks 64 cents per pack, or 3.2 cents per cigarette per pack. Proposition EE would set minimum price requirements that increase statutory cigarette tax rates to $1.80 per pack by July of 2027.
The total state-level cigarette tax would then be $2.64 per pack—all funds generated by a Prop. EE tax would drive funds to the state’s general fund, the state education fund, tobacco education and prevention funds, and the rural schools’ fund.
Vaping Post reported on a lawsuit filed against Colorado and several officials alleging a “back-room” deal the government cut with Philip Morris USA and owner Altria Group. The lawsuit was brought by a class of discount cigarette makers who argue that Prop. EE will cartelize the Colorado cigarette market to one or two primary manufacturers.
We also wrote up an analysis specific to the ballot measure others on state ballots across the United States. The Presidential Election, at this time, is still too close to call.
Unofficial Results: “Yes/For” — 1,873,948 votes; 68.50%. “No/Against” — 861,729 votes; 31.51%. As of Nov. 3rd, 10:00 PM MST, the total vote was 75% of the submitted ballots.
This story will be updated with official results when they come available.