Tobacco use in Colorado 2018
Cigarette use: Colorado*
- In 2016, 15.6 percent of adults smoked. Nationally, the rate was 17.1 percent.¹
- In 2017, 7.0 percent of high school students smoked on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 8.8 percent.²
Other tobacco product use: Colorado
- In 2015, 2.6 percent of adults used e-cigarettes, 1.8 percent used smokeless tobacco and 2.1 percent smoked cigars.³
- In 2017, 26.2 percent of high school students used e-cigarettes on at least one day in the past 30 days. Nationally, the rate was 13.2 percent.²
Economics of tobacco use and tobacco control
- Colorado received $292.6 million (estimated) in tobacco settlement payments and taxes in fiscal year 2018.⁴
- Of this, the state allocated $24.2 million in state funds to tobacco prevention in fiscal year 2018, 45.7 percent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual spending target.⁴
- Smoking-related health care costs: $1.89 billion per year⁴
- Smoking-related losses in productivity: $1.27 billion per year⁵
Colorado tobacco laws
- Colorado is ranked 39th in the U.S. for its cigarette tax of 84 cents per pack (enacted January 2005), compared with the national average of $1.73. (Connecticut and New York have the highest tax at $4.35 and Missouri has the lowest at 17 cents.)⁶ ⁷ ⁸
- All other tobacco products are taxed at 40 percent of the manufacturer’s list price.⁶ ⁷
Clean indoor air ordinances
- Smoking is prohibited in all government and private workplaces (nonpublic workplaces with three or fewer employees are exempt), schools, childcare facilities, retail stores, recreational/cultural facilities, restaurants, bars (cigar/tobacco bars are exempt) and casinos/gaming establishments (tribal establishments are exempt).⁶ ⁷
Youth access laws
- The minimum age of sale for tobacco products in Colorado is 18. Active duty military personnel are exempt.⁶
- Establishments are required to post signs stating that sales to minors are prohibited.⁶
Quitting statistics and benefits
- The CDC estimates 53.4 percent of daily adult smokers in Colorado quit smoking for one or more days in 2016.⁹
- In 2014, the Affordable Care Act required that Medicaid programs cover all quit medications.⁷**
- Colorado’s state quit line invests $5.72 per smoker, compared with the national average of $2.10.⁷
- Colorado has a private insurance mandate provision for quitting tobacco.⁷
Notes and references
Updated June 2018
*National and state-level prevalence numbers reflect the most recent data available. This may differ across state fact sheets.
**The seven recommended quitting medications are NRT gum, NRT patch, NRT nasal spray, NRT inhaler, NRT lozenge, Varenicline (Chantix) and Bupropion (Zyban). Fiore MC, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services. Public Health Service: May 2008.
- CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2016.
- CDC, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 2017.
- CDC, State-Specific Prevalence of Tobacco Product Use Among Adults - United States, 2014-2015, MMWR.
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Broken Promises to Our Children: a State-by-State Look at the 1998 State Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later FY2018, 2017.
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Toll of Tobacco in the United States, 2018.
- American Lung Association, SLATI State Reports, 2017.
- American Lung Association, State of Tobacco Control, 2018.
- Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, State Cigarette Excise Tax Rates & Rankings, 2018.
- CDC, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, State Tobacco Activities Tracking and Evaluation System, 2016.