Denver Flavored Tobacco Ban Will Exempt Hookah,…

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Whereas a Denver Metropolis Council committee will quickly vote on a proposed flavored tobacco and vaping merchandise ban, hookah lounges and premium cigars are now not on the chopping block.

“Councilwoman Ortega and I really feel that now we have executed important quantities of engagement with group, with different councilmembers. We now have compromised the place we really feel comfy compromising. This invoice is able to go,” says Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer, who’s co-sponsoring the flavour ban ordinance with Councilwoman Debbie Ortega. The Security, Housing, Training & Homelessness Metropolis Council committee will vote on the proposal on November 17; if it passes, it’ll transfer on to the complete council.

When Sawyer and Ortega first unveiled the proposed ordinance again in August, all flavored tobacco and vaping merchandise had been slated to get the ax.

“It’s totally clear that decreasing entry reduces utilization,” says Sawyer, whose objective is to cut back youth use of nicotine merchandise.

A 2020 Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention examine confirmed that roughly one among each 5 highschool college students, or 19.6 p.c, reported that they’d used digital cigarettes prior to now thirty days. Flavors are an enormous draw for youths who take up vaping, in line with proponents of the ban. Alternatively, opponents of such bans say that flavored-vaping merchandise assist grownup people who smoke stop.

Within the months because the measure was proposed, lobbyists and business insiders representing a spread of pursuits — together with hookah lounges, menthol cigarette makers and vape retailers — have been combating to get exemptions within the closing proposal. They packed two committee conferences final month, at which councilmembers debated the proposal and twice postponed a closing vote on the measure.

Within the meantime, councilmembers have proposed a number of amendments to the proposal. Councilman Kevin Flynn desires to exempt menthol cigarettes, whereas Councilwoman Kendra Black desires to substitute the present proposal with a wholly new ordinance that may ramp up 21-plus age restrictions as an alternative of banning flavored merchandise.

However Sawyer and Ortega haven’t agreed to these proposals. “If both of these had been to get sufficient assist, it could erode the worth and the aim of the invoice so considerably that it would not be worthwhile at this level,” Sawyer says.

However they’ve agreed to an exemption to the flavour ban for premium cigars, an modification proposed by Councilman Paul Kashmann. “What we’re seeing is that youngsters aren’t smoking premium cigars for a bunch of cash from Cuba, so recognizing that the aim of the invoice is to maintain these merchandise out of the palms of youngsters, that looks as if an inexpensive modification, supplied that they’re checking IDs each time and remaining compliant,” says Sawyer.

Councilman Jolon Clark introduced ahead one other modification that Sawyer and Ortega even have accepted, which might exempt hookah merchandise, all of that are flavored.

“This isn’t what youngsters are whipping out of their backpack at school to smoke. I feel that this permits for a lane for these good actors and folk for whom this is part of their cultural expertise, whereas maintaining our youngsters protected,” explains Clark.

Clark has additionally been pushing a measure that may regulate the hours of operation for hookah lounges in order that they need to shut at midnight; at present, they’ll function in any respect hours. Whereas hookah business stakeholders usually assist the measure, they would like that the hours of operation be kicked to 2 a.m. as an alternative of midnight.

This proposal, which council will vote on for a closing time on November 15, will assist resolve a problem “that has plagued neighborhoods by dangerous operators for a lot of, a few years,” in line with Clark, who says that his personal district has handled an issue hookah lounge simply off South Broadway.

Irrespective of how the flavour ban vote goes, hookah lounges and premium cigar retailers will now have the ability to keep in enterprise. But when the ordinance is authorized, most vape retailers will go up in smoke.

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