Testimony Heard on Flavored Tobacco Ban Statewide

DENVER (KDVR) — Should Colorado crack down on vaping?

Last December, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock vetoed a City Council measure that would have banned the sale of flavored nicotine products like vape juice and menthol cigarettes. After the Mile High City plan is rejected, Prohibition supporters bring it back – to the Statehouse.

State lawmakers say they’re trying to stop kids getting their hands on flavored smoking items, but unlike the Denver debate, opponents are now looking to another state effort as the reason for that lawmakers are reconsidering.

“I would say mostly what they need to listen to is what voters have told them to do in 2020, which is to tax these products, these specific products, so that we can have a pre- Universal K,” said Phil Guerin, owner. from the Myxed Up Creations vape shop. “And that’s really part of the solution, and it’s the beginning of the real solution, which is to educate our children.”

Prop EE increased the tax on nicotine-based items and created a new product tax to help the state kick off its universal pre-K program.

Opponents argue that if the proposed flavor ban passes, the pre-K program could take a big funding hit, as it is a big driver for consumer sales. This is something lawmakers have said they are considering.

“We always run that risk when we want to fund these important programs with taxes like this, which are vices. Hopefully maybe we’ll start to move away from that because I don’t think that’s probably the most appropriate way to fund these programs,” said state Rep. Kyle Mullica, D-Adams. “But I think we have the ability to continue to fund those programs with the budget we have this year.”

The bill would also create a grants program that would distribute $10 million in grants to help educate communities that have been unfairly impacted by nicotine advertising and sales.

People are also wondering why this bill is so late. It was introduced in January but only recently started moving. The bill’s sponsor said he was speaking to industry stakeholders, but owners of small FOX31 vape shops said they weren’t included in those discussions. If passed, store owners are expected to implement the changes by 2024.

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