Colorado comes in with mixed marks on tobacco control report

DENVER (KDVR) — The best and worst states for tobacco control policies have been published, and Colorado has received mixed marks.

This comes from the American Lung Association’s 21st Annual Report on Tobacco Control and is critical because tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States.

Tobacco claims more than 5,000 Coloradan lives each year, and many students use it as well.

This report evaluates state and federal measures taken to eliminate tobacco use, tobacco control laws, and policies to save lives.

Here is the breakdown of ratings for Colorado this year:

  • Funding for State Tobacco Prevention Programs – Grade D
  • Strength of Smokefree Workplace Laws – Grade B
  • State Tobacco Tax Tier – Grade C
  • Coverage and access to smoking cessation services – Grade A
  • End the sale of all flavored tobacco products – Grade F

Much of the state’s progress comes from proposition EE, which was overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2020 to increase taxes on tobacco products over time. This has improved funding for prevention, and the state should continue to see further improvements as the law is fully implemented.

However, there are still many Coloradans who are affected by tobacco use, including 32% of high school students.

According to the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey, more than 2.5 million middle and high school students use e-cigarettes, and more than 85% of those kids use flavored cigarettes.

In addition, menthol cigarettes continue to be the leading cause of tobacco-related death and disease in black communities.

That strongly advises Colorado lawmakers to continue working to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol cigarettes.

One area where the state did very well, Grade A, is coverage and access to tobacco cessation services.

So if you are someone trying to quit smoking and need help, you can visit for local and virtual resources.


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