Denver City Council vote on mayor’s flavored…


DENVER — The mayor’s veto of a flavored tobacco ban will stand after a Denver metropolis council vote Monday night did not override the veto.

The town council voted final Monday to approve Council Invoice 1182, which might prohibit the sale of any tobacco product or part that’s meant to disguise the style of the product. Nonetheless, 4 days later, Mayor Michael Hancock issued a uncommon veto of the invoice.

“We will work on this in a extra collaborative means, and we will additionally transfer to boost our current regulatory framework, along with pursuing a broader technique by performing state-wide or at the very least regionally,” the mayor mentioned in a press release.

The town council voted yet one more time Monday on whether or not they needed to overrule that veto. So as to take action, town council would have wanted an excellent majority.

“I am hopeful that we will have the votes to override him because this was the right thing to do to protect our kids and adults who are already at it,” mentioned Councilwoman Deborah Ortega, one of many predominant proponents behind the ban. “This is a public health issue. Denver has been a leader in addressing public health issues around tobacco for a long, long time.”

In his veto, Hancock mentioned a extra regional or statewide strategy is required in an effort to actually make a distinction in youth smoking charges locally. The mayor additionally mentioned the ban wouldn’t solely damage minority-owned companies, however that teenagers would merely journey to a different metropolis in an effort to get flavored tobacco.

In response, Ortega mentioned Denver has led the way in which on quite a few earlier points, with different jurisdictions following swimsuit, so she doesn’t perceive the hesitancy this time round.

“It very similar to what we did when we outlawed spray products that were being used for tagging,” she said. “We did that legislation and then neighboring jurisdictions followed. We’ve done that on many, many things.”

While there is no guarantee other cities will follow, Ortega believes it’s still up to Denver to try to lead the way before more people become addicted.

“It’s a matter of willpower,” she said. “Do we, as a city, think that protecting public health of youth and adults is important?”

Meanwhile, Jonathan Samet, the dean of the Colorado School of Pubic Health, tells Denver7 he understands the mayor’s reluctance, but says cities have taken their own strategy to try to reduce smoking rates in the past, like going smoke-free.

“Clearly, sort-of a regional effort or metro Denver effort would be better,” he said. “On the other hand, I would say let’s get a starting point.”

Samet says there is a trade-off between personal choice and public health when it comes to these flavored tobacco products. For example, with secondhand smoke, governments have determined that a person’s choice stops when they begin to affect the health of those around them.

Proponents of flavored tobacco argue that these products are often used by adults as a step-down while they try to stop a nicotine habit.

“You have a question of a harm reduction strategy that makes these products available to addicted smokers who want to have something less risky while protecting youth,” Samet said. “That’s really at the heart of the discussion, and that’s a problem that needs very careful policy thinking.”

Samet is not confident that the data gathered about these flavored tobacco products supports the idea that they help people kick tobacco habits, particularly since these products have increased their nicotine content.

For the roughly 20 smoke shops around the city that sell flavored nicotine, it was a limbo as they waited for Denver City Council to decide their fate.

Phillip Guerin has been the owner of the Myxed Up Creations Smoke Shop for 29 years. He says these products make up 30% of his revenue, and a ban on the products would hurt his shop and put others out of business completely.

“Just because it’s 30% of our business does not mean that that’s not a fatal blow to our business. We operated about a 10% profit margin, and so take 30% right off the top, that’s really going to cut into the meat down to the bone,” Guerin mentioned.

Recently, attending metropolis council conferences has grow to be an enormous a part of Guerin’s job as he and others struggle to guard the non-public alternative of adults.

“It’s not easy what they’re making an attempt to do, and what they’re doing is just not the suitable option to go about it, and so there’s been a number of debate on this concern,” he mentioned. “I believe they’ll make the suitable resolution. On the finish of the day, I believe it’s going to be laborious to go in opposition to the mayor.”

As a substitute of a taste tobacco ban, Guerin says he would assist stricter enforcement of the foundations town already has in place, notably in the case of age restrictions for who can enter and purchase merchandise from these shops. He would even assist extra punishments for companies that promote to underage teenagers, together with a lack of licenses, if that makes a dent in teen vaping charges.

Guerin reiterated a number of instances that he doesn’t assist teen vaping and thinks schooling is vital. Nonetheless, he says adults need to make their very own choices.

Now that the veto override failed, metropolis council may select to ship the query to the voters to resolve.

The town council was in a position to efficiently work round the same veto by the mayor final 12 months once they gave voters the ability to put off the pitbull ban.

Ortega tells Denver7 she has a number of different points she is engaged on, so she’s undecided that she could be the one to aim a measure like this, however she didn’t rule out a few of her colleagues making an attempt to ship it to the poll field.

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