COLORADO

 

 

COLORADO FLAVOR BAN DISREGARDS TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION, WON'T REDUCE YOUTH E-CIGARETTE USE

February 26, 2020
  • The most recent data on Colorado youth e-cigarette use is from the 2017 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey. In 2017, 27 percent of Colorado high school students reported using vapor products on at least one day in the 30 days prior to the survey. There is no data on frequent and/or daily use.

  • In analyses by The Heartland Institute, less than 10 percent of youth are using e-cigarettes daily as indicated in Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and Vermont.

  • Youth are not using vapor products because of flavors, but rather because of peer pressure and because their friends and/or family members have used these products. The Heartland Institute recently analyzed several statewide youth vaping surveys to understand the role of flavors in youth e-cigarette use. In an analysis of five states, only 15.6 percent of high school students cited using e-cigarettes because of flavors.

  • There is no data indicating that menthol cigarettes lead to an increase in youth tobacco use. Analysts at the Reason Foundation examined youth tobacco rates and menthol cigarette sales. The authors of the 2020 report found that states “with more menthol cigarette consumption relative to all cigarettes have lower rates of child smoking.

  • In 2018, the vaping industry created 2,821 direct vaping-related jobs in the Centennial State, generating $60 million in wages alone. The industry provided more than $412 million in economic activity in 2018, including $25 million in state taxes.

  • In 2019, Colorado received an estimated $286.3 million in tobacco monies generated by taxes and tobacco settlement payments. In the same year, Colorado dedicated $23.6 million, or 8 percent of what was received in tobacco monies, on tobacco control programs, including education and prevention. To put it in greater perspective, in 2018, tobacco companies spent $136 million in marketing tobacco products in Colorado, or five times what the state spent on tobacco control and education programs.

TOBACCO HARM REDUCTION 101: COLORADO

January 10, 2020

Key Points: 

  • Colorado’s vaping industry provided more than $412 million in economic activity in 2018 while generating 2,821 direct vaping-related jobs. Sales of disposables and prefilled cartridges in Colorado exceeded $8.7 million in 2016.

  • As of January 8, 2020, CDPHE has reported eight cases of vaping-related lung illness. CDPHE noted that three of the patients reported vaping THC. CDPHE earns an A for its reporting on vaping-related lung illnesses.

  • In 2017, 27 percent of Colorado high school students reported using vapor products at least once in the 30 days prior to the survey. There is no information on frequent and/or daily use. More data is needed.  

  • Only 3 percent of FDA retail compliance checks resulted in sales of e-cigarettes to minors from January 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019.

  • Colorado spends very little on tobacco prevention. In 2019, Colorado dedicated only $23.6 million on tobacco control, or 8 percent of what the state received in tobacco settlement payments and taxes.

PROPOSED COLORADO CIGARETTE AND VAPING TAX WOULD BE REGRESSIVE, UNRELIABLE, AND THREATEN HARM REDUCTION

April 29, 2019
  • House Bill 19-1333 would ask voters to raise taxes on cigarettes by 8.75 cents per cigarette, to $2.59 per pack.

  • The proposal would also apply a 62 percent wholesale tax on nicotine products, which would be defined as any product containing nicotine that can be “ingested into the body, whether by vaporizing, chewing, smoking, absorbing, dissolving, inhaling, snorting, sniffing, aerosolizing, or by any other means.”

  • Lawmakers intend for the newly generated revenue to be allocated evenly between health care and “preschool programs and expanding learning opportunities.” Proponents also believe the newly created tax on e-cigarettes and vaping devices will help deter youth use.

  • Existing research shows cigarette taxes disproportionately impact lower-income persons. 

    • Cato Journal article notes that from 2010 to 2011, “smokers earning less than $30,000 per year spent 14.2 percent of their household income on cigarettes, compared to 4.3 percent for smokers earning between $30,000 and $59,999 and 2 percent for smokers earning more than $60,000.

  • Cigarette taxes are also inherently unreliable, especially when used to fund newly created programs.

    • The National Taxpayers Union Foundation found from 2001 to 2011, “revenue projections were met in only 29 of 101 cases where cigarette/tobacco taxes were increased.”

    • Pew Charitable Trusts revealed a decline in cigarette consumption caused cigarette tax revenue “to drop by an average of about 1 percent across all states from 2008 to 2016.”

  • Although vape tax proponents believe it will help deter youth use of e-cigarettes, their belief is not backed up by recent evidence. An analysis on the effects of Pennsylvania’s 2016 40 percent wholesale tax found it did not deter youth e-cigarette use.

  • According to the 2015 Pennsylvania Youth Survey (PAYS), 15.5 percent of middle and high school students reported using an e-cigarette within the past 30 days.

    • In 2017, PAYS found this increased to 16.3 percent of middle and high school students reporting past 30 day use of e-cigarettes.

    • Notably, e-cigarette use among 10th and 12th graders increased from 20.4 and 27 percent respectively, in 2015, to 21.9 and 29.3 percent of 10th and 12th graders reporting e-cigarette use in 2017.

  • Colorado allocates little funding to tobacco prevention and cessation.

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©2020 by Tobacco Harm Reduction 101.