When you make a living — or, I should say, a killing — hooking kids on a lethal product, you can’t get too attached to the truth.

Take the tobacco industry, please.

No surprise here: the industry is fighting Amendment 72, a proposal to increase Colorado’s tobacco tax. And the industry’s arguments are about as accurate as the health claims it used to make.

Opponents call Amendment 72 a “blank check” — an attack that fact-checkers have exposed as misleading and false. As 9News and Fox 31 have noted, the measure spells out exactly where the revenue will go, including tobacco prevention and cessation programs, medical research, veterans’ services, and child and adolescent mental health.

You can follow the money, as the opposition demands. Amendment 72 requires the state to account for every dime — and to post that account on the legislature’s website each year.

You can also follow the money behind the opposition’s campaign. “No on 72” has spent a near-record $17.4 million, and one company alone accounts for most of the cash: Altria, better known as the owner of Philip Morris.

Altria knows that tobacco taxes discourage kids from smoking. It’s no wonder the company is writing such a big, blank check.


Andrew Romanoff
President and CEO
Mental Health Colorado