Thursday, December 2, 2021

Denver’s proposed ban on flavored tobacco and vape products could be changed to free up hookah and menthol products

A proposed ban on the sale of flavored tobacco and vaping products in Denver stalled Wednesday, when members of the city council’s safety committee discussed several amendments, including changes that would exempt hookahs and menthol cigarettes.

The committee members will have three weeks to work behind the scenes, and on Wednesday they will agree to take the measure – and the five changes so far proposed – again at a meeting on November 17 before it can be pushed to the entire city for consideration. Advice.

Adopted earlier this month by Council members Amanda Sawyer and Debbie Ortega, the regulation will make it illegal to sell goods including flavored cigars, e-cigarettes, vape pens, vape juices, menthol cigarettes and shisha, the flavored tobacco used for shisha in Denver. … Sponsors and backers say it’s a social imperative and flavored foods are being used to lure young people into lifelong smokers.

“The youth epidemic of smoking and vaping is what we’re trying to solve here,” Sawyer said Wednesday. – This is an extreme problem. The chief surgeon declared it an epidemic. “

Adults over the age of 21 can still own and use these products, but they will have to buy them somewhere outside the city. Similar bans are in force in seven other municipalities in Colorado.

Some of Sawyer’s colleagues on the security committee disagreed with an approach that they saw as too restrictive and likely to drive many small retailers out of business.

“This is not done with a scalpel, but with a sledgehammer, and we are going to influence adults and not allow them to buy the products they want to buy,” said councilor Kendra Black.

The proposed amendments, which were announced on Wednesday, include an exemption for premium cigars and pipe tobacco and another exemption for menthol cigarettes.

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Councilor Kevin Flynn proposed an amendment to menthol late Tuesday night after he said he heard from members of Denver’s black community that they were both in favor and against the inclusion of menthol products, a type of tobacco product that is disproportionately sold among blacks. … He did not believe that the Council should take this decision from the hands of the people.

The Hookah Lounge exception is considered the most important change for its patrons, because all hookah is flavored tobacco. Smoking shisha in public places is a cultural practice with roots in many cultures in the Middle East.

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