Denver City Council Considered Banning Flavored Tobacco With 2023 Launch Date | Focus on Denver

Denver City Council has weighed the health of young people against the rights of adults who enjoy vaping flavored vapors by developing a potential ban on flavored varieties.

Denver is the latest city nationwide to consider a ban on flavored e-cigarettes, which opponents say is a gateway for smoking tobacco or hard drugs.

The council has been debating the issue since October, before finalizing proposed language with a 12-1 vote on November 29, to set up what was to be a final vote on Monday night December 6, which would make Denver the seventh. Colorado municipality to enact a ban.

The council pushed back the implementation for a year until July 1, 2023, to give the small businesses that sell flavored vapes time to adjust to the lost revenue stream.

The local pressure follows the United States Food and Drug Administration’s nationwide ban that went into effect in September, affecting major manufacturers, such as JUUL, VASE and NJOY. If passed, the city ordinance would extend the ban to flavored tobacco products sold in all Denver establishments, with exemptions for hookah, natural cigars, pipe tobacco and harm reduction tools. .

The FDA ban does not apply to small independent vendors, such as convenience stores, smokehouses, and other still legal vendors, leaving the matter to local governments.

Dozens of Denverites have spoken out about the flavor ban, arguing that authorities should apply best practices to prevent nicotine products from children, rather than creating economic and social problems.

Menthol, as some opponents noted, is a preferred type of tobacco product in the black community, while supporters have said it is how big tobacco companies attract customers, especially communities. marginalized.

As city council heard from the public and studied the bill, members voted against ban proposals that would have exempted menthol cigarettes as well as all flavored tobacco products sold in restricted specialty stores. ‘age. These amendments failed by 5-8 and 6-7 votes, respectively.

Supporters include the Denver Public Schools Board of Education.

“The goal has always been to protect the health of our community starting with our children,” said City Councilor Deborah Ortega, co-sponsor of the proposed ban. “This is an opportunity to examine how we protect our young people and, at the same time, we protect our adults who have been historically targeted (by the tobacco industry). “

The board approved an amendment to delay the implementation of the ban from July 1, 2022 to July 1, 2023. The amendment was passed by 8 to 5 votes, with board members saying they hope it will reduce the impact of the ban on small businesses selling tobacco.

“I think this is a fair amendment in light of the failure of the previous two amendments,” said Councilor Kevin Flynn. “We just sentenced the companies sitting here to death, I think it’s fair that we give them more than six months to deal with the fallout, if the bill passes.”

Speakers were divided with about two-thirds in opposition and one-third in favor. Arguments in opposition included the negative economic impacts on small businesses and preventing adult smokers from purchasing products. Several of the speakers wore opposing shirts that read “vaping saves adults” and “kids hook the flavors”.

Only Councilor Chris Herndon voted against finalizing the wording of the ban, which set up the vote to approve or reject it.

Several council members said they were still on the fence about their vote and Councilor Kendra Black said she would definitely vote ‘no’ next time around.

“We all agree that children should not use tobacco and we all agree that smoking is bad and kills people. However, this is not a good policy, ”said Black. “It won’t stop people from smoking and it won’t stop kids from getting vaping products. People can get them online, in nearby towns, and unflavored products are still available in Denver. “

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