Colorado bucks national trend as cigarette sales light up for 2nd year

Population boom linked to sales increase
Posted at 5:14 PM, Jun 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-14 20:10:11-04

DENVER – After nearly a 10-year decline, a troubling trend for Colorado’s effort to reduce cigarette sales is beginning to take shape.

Cigarette sales continue to climb in the state as 2016 saw more than 200 million packs fly off the shelf, according to data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Last year’s numbers represent 5 million more packs than the 194 million that were sold in 2015, which was the first year the state marked an increase cigarette sales in nearly a decade.

The back-to-back increase is in contrast to what is happening to cigarette sales nationally, where the Center for Disease Control reported a 2.5 percent decrease.

CDPHE Communications Specialist Dave Brendsel says the increase in sales is linked to the state’s population boom. However, the state added residents every year sales were on a downward trend.

Additionally, Brendsel said cigarette sales tend to decrease when the price of a pack goes up. He noted that in 2004, sales plummeted after tobacco taxes were increased by .64 cents a pack.

CDPHE data shows the dramatic descent after the 2004 tax, which appeared to have had a lasting effect on sales in the following years.

Cigarettes kill more than 480,000 people per year in the United States.