Voters in Colorado appear to have rejected an increase to the state’s tobacco tax, defeating Amendment 72 with 53% of the ballots cast in opposition after 62% of the vote had been counted.

Amendment 72 sought to raise the tax on cigars and other tobacco products except for cigarettes from 40 percent of the wholesale price to 62 percent. For a cigar with an MSRP of $9.50, the pre-sales tax price at the register would jump from $13.30 to $15.39 by halfwheel estimates.

The tax on a pack of cigarettes would have increased from $0.84 to $2.59. The group Campaign for a Healthy Colorado said that the tax increase would bring in approximately $315 million to the state every year, with that money divided up between Colorado-based research to prevent and improve treatments for cancer, heart and lung disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and youth mental health; tobacco education, prevention, and cessation programs for Colorado youth and adults; medical and mental health care for 500,000 Colorado veterans; increased access to health care in rural and underserved areas; training and repayment student debt for medical professionals in rural and underserved areas; and $34 million to expand access to youth mental health services.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.