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Cigarette Tax Poised to Pass

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One of the ballot initiatives you will be voting on next week would raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes in Colorado from 20 cents a pack to 84 cents a pack. The measure is expected to pass by a wide margin. The Denver Post this morning endorsed the initiative, pointing out that it will help fund child health care programs and make Colorado eligible for matching federal Medicaid funds. Also, a portion of the revenue would be given to community health centers. The Post says these needed programs might suffer without the measure because of state budgetary woes.

Unlike in 1994, when a 50-cent hike was proposed and defeated, this year the tobacco companies are staying mum and not putting up money for ads to defeat the tax. So the issue is being presented to the voters without meaningful debate.

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For those who are interested, here are the reasons advanced by opponents for voting against the increased tax.

Some of those reasons make sense to us and some don’t. But now that we’ve reported, you decide.

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