DENVER — A proposal to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products in Denver was postponed to the end of the month Wednesday after nearly two hours of debate by the Denver City Council safety committee.
If passed, the ban would apply to all flavored tobacco products sold in all establishments within city limits, with exemptions only for harm-reduction tools approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
>The video above is from 2019 when Denver raised the age to buy cigarettes to 21.
That means flavored hookah, menthol cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars and vaping products could not be sold in Denver — the last of which is the main target of the ban.
Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer, who co-sponsored the proposal, said she was inspired to initiate the ban when she found out one of her 12-year-old daughter’s classmates was trying to sell her vape products.
"What she said was, ‘It’s just cotton candy, it’s no big deal,’” Sawyer said. "When we look at the data on how kids get started smoking, vaping, it’s always flavored tobacco. … If we can stop kids from starting to smoke, they will not be smokers down the road.”
In 2020, approximately one in five high school students and one in 20 middle school students used e-cigarettes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Of tobacco users between 12 and 17 years old, 81% said they started by using flavored products and 79% said they use a product because it comes in flavors they like, according to a study by the FDA and National Institute of Health.
Dozens of people packed into the council chambers Tuesday to speak on the proposed ban — a crowd council members said was the largest they’ve had since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
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