Cigarette sales in Colorado jumped up by over 1 million from 2014 to 2015. Up almost a full percent (.7 percent.) That’s a lot of smokes. A lot of ‘cancer-sticks’ as some folks call them. It’s the first time that there’s been an increase in over ten years.

Why the increase?  Also- let us know if you’re a smoker.

Jeff J, Mitchell, Getty Images

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Coloradans are smoking more cigarettes. 194.4 million packs were sold between 2014 and 2015.  Up by just over 1 million. More cigarettes being purchased means more tax dollars going to help people quit, and prevent kids from smoking. Each pack comes with an 84 cent tobacco tax.  That’s 37th highest in the nation; in New York, it’s $4.35.

From the CDPHE press release:

Research shows that increases in the cigarette tax reduce smoking, especially among youth. Studies also show tax increases lose their effectiveness after roughly seven years.

It’s been over seven years for Colorado’s latest tax, which went into effect in 2005. So, it looks like maybe we’re right on track to see more cigarettes being consumed now.

Is that the reason for the increase- simply because the effectiveness of the tax has waned?  Thing is, according to the data LESS people are smoking, but those people are just smoking MORE cigarettes; which does say that the tax helped people to quit, but those who didn't are now fine with the extra 84 cents.

That’s not good.

“While we’ve made progress in protecting Coloradans from the toxic effects of tobacco, this increase in cigarette sales tells us there is more work to be done,” said Dr. Larry Wolk, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Colorado’s tobacco tax initially encouraged many smokers to quit, and continues to fund our efforts to prevent young people from starting and help current smokers quit.”

Get more information from the CDPHE press release HERE

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