A bill that would restrict the sale of flavored nicotine products to stores that only sell to customers 21 years old and older passed out of the Colorado House Committee on Health and Insurance on Wednesday.
Sponsored by Rep. Yadira Caraveo (D-Thornton) and Speaker KC Becker (D-Boulder), HB20-1319 would ban the sale of any flavor enhancers, and any product that “a responsible person would conclude has a flavor that doesn’t taste like tobacco.”
The bill would apply to tobacco products, as well as e-cigarette products and any other nicotine products. Saying the flavors are intended to get young people hooked on nicotine, the restrictions, legislators say, will prevent young people from becoming addicted.
“Flavored nicotine products are developed and targeted to our youth to get them addicted for life to dangerous chemicals,” Caraveo said. “As a pediatrician, I’ve seen firsthand how these products are harming our children and leading to long-term health conditions. Youth vaping is a public health crisis, and we need to use all the data-driven tools we have to keep these products out of our schools, classrooms, and the hands of our youth.”
The bill goes a step further than the national ban on flavored e-cigarette devices and cartridges passed in February of last year. In the wake of several teen deaths due to electronic cigarettes, President Trump’s administration placed a ban on flavored products in electronic nicotine delivery systems and upped the legal age limit for tobacco purchases to 21.
“It sickens me when I hear my son come home from school and describe the vaping products he sees on the floor of his classroom at school and in the hands of his classmates,” Becker said. “We need common-sense restrictions on the sale of flavored nicotine products so that fewer Colorado children are introduced to these sleek vaping devices that are marketed towards children. We shouldn’t stand by while a predatory industry profits off the addiction of our kids to their harmful products.”
Violators of the law would face a fine of $250. The bill is scheduled to be released to the floor this week.