Editorial: Denver shouldn’t shutter vape shops –…

114 points

Denver’s proposed ban on the final remaining authorized flavored nicotine merchandise being offered within the U.S. is a mistake.

We don’t take that place evenly. We wrote in 2019 to assist President Donald Trump’s proposed partial ban on flavored nicotine merchandise that “the playing field is not equal when it comes to kids and teens. Their decision-making abilities are not fully developed and some evidence indicates they may be more susceptible to addiction. Taking concrete measures to block kids and teens from being able to use nicotine and marijuana products, especially through these popular new vaping devices is essential.”

The federal Meals and Drug Administration has left loopholes in its ban of flavored nicotine merchandise over time. In 2009, Obama banned all flavored cigarettes aside from Menthol. And whereas flavored nicotine “pods” offered by main manufactures like Juul and NJoy have been banned by the FDA in 2020, it allowed nicotine juices that may be poured into bigger vape gadgets to nonetheless be offered. The justification was that these juices are primarily offered in independently owned vape outlets reasonably than at almost each drug retailer and comfort retailer within the nation just like the merchandise offered and marketed by Large Tobacco.

The carve-outs have been cheap compromises.

The flavored nicotine ban additionally got here as Congress elevated the age to buy nicotine merchandise from 18 years outdated to 21 years outdated. Colorado adopted swimsuit with Gov. Jared Polis signing the Tobacco 21 invoice on July 14, 2020. That invoice additionally elevated enforcement on Colorado retail sellers, making a license for the sale of nicotine merchandise and a compliance division to test for shops promoting to teenagers.

Taken collectively, we expect it’s doable these modifications might cut back teen entry to vaping merchandise.

There’s some proof to assist that concept, though consultants attribute the drop in teen vaping and smoking to colleges being closed through the pandemic. A survey launched final month by the Meals and Drug Administration and the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention discovered that 11% of highschool college students and fewer than 3% of center college college students mentioned they have been current customers of e-cigarettes and different vaping merchandise. In 2020, 20% of highschool college students and 5% of center college college students reported utilizing the merchandise.

Earlier than we shutter vape outlets and in addition presumably hookah lounges, we must always see if Colorado can mirror that pattern and maintain it regular.

Metropolis Councilwoman Amanda Sawyer introduced ahead the proposed metropolis of Denver flavored nicotine ban, which might shut the Trump carve out for flavored liquid nicotine in addition to the older exemption for menthol cigarettes. She is correct to be involved about Colorado’s children.

Colorado teenagers are more likely than their friends throughout the nation to be utilizing vape gadgets, and whereas these gadgets are doubtless much less dangerous to their lungs than cigarettes, it’s an habit that’s onerous to beat, and the long-term results of vaping are nonetheless unknown.

We can’t gamble with the following era’s well being, particularly when they’re vulnerable to habit and influenced by peer stress and advertising.

In response to the Colorado Division of Well being and Human Companies’ Wholesome Youngsters Survey within the 2019 college 12 months, 26% of Colorado highschool and center college college students had vaped inside the earlier 30 days and 46% mentioned they’d tried vaping sooner or later.

Large Tobacco could have discovered a strategy to hook the following era.

However vape outlets and hookah lounges are like bars and nightclubs lately, the place nobody will get within the door with out proving they’re 21 years outdated. Hooka lounges signify a low risk of habit, because the product is consumed on-site.

If Colorado’s teen vaping numbers head within the flawed route in coming years, Sawyer ought to convey her ban once more, however for now, we expect the town council ought to give the opposite reforms extra time to get nicotine away from our children.

To ship a letter to the editor about this text, submit on-line or try our tips for how one can submit by electronic mail or mail.

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