Altria engages against Colorado nicotine tax bill

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DENVER  |  Altria, one of the world’s largest tobacco companies, has hired lobbyists and is mounting a social media campaign against a proposal to raise Colorado’s nicotine tax.

The Colorado Sun reported Tuesday that an Altria lobbying arm hired local lobbyists a week before Gov. Jared Polis announced the nicotine initiative on April 24.

Altria bought a $13 billion stake in the vaping company Juul in December.

The bill would ask voters to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes from 84 cents to $2.49 and to impose a 62 percent tax other nicotine products, including vaping devices.

Revenues would go to schools and health care.

The bill faces tough odds of passing before the 2019 Legislature ends May 3.

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Information from: The Colorado Sun, http://coloradosun.com