Proposal to triple tax on pack of cigarettes gets on Colorado ballot

Full cigarette pack. Photo: ThinkStock

Full cigarette pack. Photo: ThinkStock

DENVER — A proposal that would triple the taxes on a pack of cigarettes will be on the November ballot in Colorado.

Secretary of State Wayne Williams announced Monday afternoon there were enough valid signatures on a petition for the measure to put it on the ballot.

Supporters of the “New cigarette and tobacco taxes” proposal turned in their petition signatures August 8. Officials said the group turned in at least 117,000 valid signatures. 98,500 were needed.

Initiative 143 would amend Colorado’s constitution so that starting in January 2017 taxes on a pack of cigarettes would go up from 84 cents per pack to $2.59 per pack.

The tax on other tobacco products would increase by 22 percent of the manufacturers’ list price.

Money from the new tax would be used for tobacco education, prevention and cessation programs along with tobacco-related health research projects and other programs.

This is the fifth citizens’ initiative to make it on the Colorado ballot in November. Petition signatures for four other measures are still under review in the Secretary of State’s office.