Colorado House OKs nicotine tax ballot measure

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DENVER | Colorado’s House has approved a late-session bill to ask Colorado voters to significantly raise taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products and impose taxes on nicotine vaping devices.

Wednesday’s 34-31 vote sends the bill to the Senate. Seven lawmakers from the Democratic majority voted against it.

The initiative would ask voters in November if Colorado’s sales tax on cigarettes should increase from 84 cents to $2.59 a pack.

If approved by voters, nicotine vaping devices would be taxed at 62 percent of their wholesale price. So, too, would other tobacco products.

The tax hikes could generate more than $300 million a year for childhood education, tobacco prevention programs and other health services.

Gov. Jared Polis introduced the bill April 24 to combat teenage vaping of nicotine products.