A price works just like a valve. Raise the price of any good, service or commodity and less of it will flow.

This is an absolute cause-and-effect backed by math. A person with $50 until the next paycheck can buy 25 gallons of gasoline at $2 a gallon. Raise the price to $4 a gallon and the consumer buys a maximum of 12.5 gallons.

When voters or leaders want less of something, they can raise its price by imposing or increasing a tax or a fee on anything associated with the activity. If we want less hunting, we raise the cost of hunting licenses and the taxes on guns and ammunition.

In Colorado, we should want less vaping and smoking of nicotine, a dangerous and highly addictive substance that shameless profiteers market to children. To raise the price on nicotine, and therefore lower the consumption, Colorado voters should vote “yes” on Proposition EE.

The ballot language starts by asking if taxes should increase by $294 million annually “by imposing a tax on nicotine liquids used in e-cigarettes and other vaping products…” The tax, when fully phased in, would be equal the state tax on tobacco products.

New revenues would fund public schools “to help offset revenue that has been lost as a result of the economic impacts related to COVID-19 and then for programs that reduce the use of tobacco and nicotine products, enhance the voluntary Colorado preschool program and make it widely available for free, and maintain the funding for programs that currently receive revenue from tobacco taxes.”

Prop EE would incrementally raise the tax on tobacco products by up to 22% of a manufacturer’s list price. It would hike the cigarette tax by up to 9-cents per cigarette and would establish a minimum tax for snuff products.

Save the Children Action Network, out of Washington, D.C., is the registered issue committee supporting the measure. The Secretary of State’s Office lists no issues committees opposing it.

The United States sued tobacco companies for billions and embarked on an educational campaign that significantly reduced teen nicotine addiction over the past two decades. Then came two greedy brain trusts named Adam Bowen and James Monsees.

Friends from college, Bowen and Monsees studied the old tobacco industry as part of a mindless get-rich-quick scheme. They founded the company JUUL and readdicted the teen demographic to nicotine consumed with vapor products. Thanks, fellas.

In 2018, the National Institute for Drug Abuse associated vaping with the largest increase in any substance use in the agency’s 43-year tracking history.

Nicotine addiction is a drain on this country and a threat to public health. We want less of nicotine and therefore should tax it like any dangerous product that harms our country and economy. Vote “yes” on Prop EE. Vote yes to make nicotine a cost-prohibitive addiction.

The Gazette Editorial Board