Letters: Flavored tobacco, vapes


89

Protect our kids; ban flavored tobacco and vapes

The City Council is considering ways to address the youth vaping epidemic and youth nicotine addiction crisis. The choice is clear — you’re either on the side of Loveland’s kids or on the side of the tobacco and vaping industry. The only real solution is to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products — all flavors, all products, all locations.

In testimony before the council this week, the overwhelming majority supported just that solution. But the industry is ramping up the fight, spreading lies and deception to create a smokescreen. Don’t be fooled. Only by getting these products off the market — flavors like cotton candy and gummy bear, mint and menthol — will we end our kids’ dangerous addictions.

As long as these flavored products remain available anywhere, kids will get and use them. And get addicted to them. Four out of five kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product, and 97% of e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month. That’s why in Colorado, one in four high school students uses e-cigarettes regularly, while only 5% of adults use flavored e-cigarettes.

That’s also why the council must oppose efforts to exempt adult-only tobacco shops. Age-restricted stores do not prevent kids from asking someone of age to purchase tobacco products for them. In fact, the industry agrees. Statewide studies show that high school tobacco users can and do easily get tobacco products from older buyers.

The tobacco industry has a long history of luring and addicting youth and minority communities with flavored products. A comprehensive policy that ends the sale of all flavored tobacco products everywhere is the only way to protect Loveland’s kids. And protecting our kids’ health should be the top priority. The council must act accordingly. Whose side is your councilor on? Loveland’s kids? Or big tobacco and the vaping industry?

Jodi Jalving

Loveland


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