Big tobacco fighting Colorado’s nicotine tax bill

THE INDEPENDENT

Big tobacco has launched a forceful effort to stop a bill that would ask Colorado voters to approve a cigarette tax increase and a new nicotine tax, spending thousands of dollars on a social media campaign against it and hiring some of the most powerful lobbyists at the state Capitol to ensure the measure is killed.

Their opposition came quickly — even before the measure was introduced, state records suggest.

Gov. Jared Polis and Democratic lawmakers announced the legislation April 24 and hope to fast-track it to approval before the legislative session ends by midnight Friday. But the lobbying arm of tobacco giant Altria hired lobbyists a week earlier and began to rally people against the bill on Facebook and Twitter the day the tax effort was announced.

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