Denver, Colo. (October 1, 2019) — Last night the Denver City Council passed a measure aimed at curbing the dangerous trend of nicotine vaping among Colorado’s youth. The measure will raise the minimum age of purchase for nicotine products to 21 and require licensing for any retailers selling vaping and nicotine products in the city. The ordinance was put forth by the Denver Department of Public Health and Environment and passed its first committee on September 11. In passing this ordinance, Denver follows the lead of eighteen states, plus the District of Columbia, and 500 localities, including in Texas, New Jersey, Arkansas, Maine, and California. Several Colorado localities have already passed similar ordinances: Aspen, Avon, Basalt, Boulder, Carbondale, Edgewater, Glenwood Springs and Snowmass.
“We took a big step forward today toward a healthier future for kids in Denver,” said Jake Williams, executive director of Healthier Colorado. “Mayor Hancock and the Denver City Council stood up to big tobacco and acted in the best interest of our youth by raising the legal age of purchase for tobacco and nicotine vaping products to 21. Companies like Juul are trying to hook a new generation on nicotine, and unfortunately they are off to a fast start here in our state. By raising the legal age of purchase and instituting a responsible licensure system for retailers selling these products to our kids, they are ensuring important safeguards are in place to protect the health of Colorado’s children.”
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado has the highest rate of nicotine vaping among youth in the country — at twice the national average. With the barrage of recent news reports on vaping-related lung disease and deaths, vaping has quickly become the latest national public health crisis.