Colorado’s proposed flavored tobacco ban would worsen public health and criminal justice inequities

Date:

A ban on flavored tobacco products would likely lead to the growth of illicit tobacco markets and more policing in minority communities.

Colorado has been a leader in trusting adults and unwinding outdated prohibitions. Colorado led the way in the legalization of marijuana and then legalized sports betting in 2019. Locally, Denver decriminalized the possession of magic mushrooms.

But, when it comes to nicotine, Colorado may be headed in the opposite direction.

A bill in the Colorado state legislature would prohibit the sale of flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes. Only one state has implemented such a ban. In June 2020, Massachusetts implemented its prohibition of flavored vaping and tobacco products and the results have been disastrous. Lawmakers hoped people would stop smoking and vaping, but, instead, people switched products and sought their favored flavors elsewhere. Sales of non-menthol cigarettes, which are equally as deadly, soared by 15.6 million packs a year in Massachusetts. In neighboring states, where flavored products were available, cigarette sales surged 22 percent in New Hampshire and 18 percent in Rhode Island. The New England region saw no reduction in cigarette sales, but Massachusetts lost $125 million in tax revenue for the fiscal year 2021 due to the flavor ban, according to the Tax Foundation.

Read full article here.

Guy Bentley – Reason Foundation – 2022-03-30.

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