According to a national database that tracks tobacco taxes, a pack of cigarettes costs an average of $5.26 in Colorado, in comparison to $10 in New York. The state ranks 39th on the list of states with the highest taxes on cigarettes, and smoking rates have been on the decline for decades.
The actual data which would support the FDA’s concerns have not even been released yet.
However, following the recent alarmist claims made by the FDA about an alleged teen vaping “epidemic”, local lawmakers are considering raising the legal age to purchase tobacco products and also impose a new local nicotine tax. “Exactly, we’re at twice the national average,” said Lauren Gilbert, a nurse with Summit County Public Health about teen vaping. E-cigarettes use is said to have increased to 26% in 2017 and the national average is 13.2%.
“Those statistics are really astounding and concerning because we know that, yes, adult smoking rates have gone down. … but if we’re getting kids addicted to nicotine that might be creating another generation of lifelong smokers for the tobacco companies,” Gilbert said.
In a press release on its website last November, the FDA released partial data compiled from the National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) indicating that more than 3.6 million middle and high school students were current (past 30 day) e-cigarette users in 2018, a dramatic increase of more than 1.5 million students since last year.
The data the FDA is basing its claims on
Many public health experts spoke up in response to this release. Public health expert Clive Bates said that the actual data which would support the FDA’s concerns have not even been released yet.
“..the partial release of data does not provide justification for FDA’s policy. This is because the data required to understand underlying changes in the pattern of tobacco use has been withheld. In other words, the data to create alarm has been released, but the data required to understand if the alarm is justified and the policy is sound has not been released,” said Bates in a blog post.
Read Further: Summit Daily