COLORADO – State lawmakers are considering a bill to put e-cigarettes in the same category as cigarettes, which means they could be banned from any indoor public areas throughout the state of Colorado. Lawmakers plan to amend the Clean Indoor Air Act in order to do so.
The current law bans smoking in restaurants, workplaces and other enclosed public places. The main reason for the proposed change is to discourage teenagers from vaping. The teen usage rate in the state is twice that of the national average. Roughly 27-percent of high school students vape and it’s being considered an epidemic. A new survey shows close to 90-percent of the teenagers surveyed believe that smoking is unhealthy. Only 50-percent of them believe vaping is unhealthy.
Last November, Juul took measures to cut down on the availability of their products to ensure teenagers couldn’t walk into a retail store and purchase the items. Juul is not opposed to the proposed Colorado bill.
Juul has been wildly popular with high school students. It’s not the market that the company wants to have. After months of parents and lawmakers begging the Food and Drug Administration to do something, in September, Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb ordered Juul and four other e-cigarette makers to fix what he labeled “epidemic” levels of teens using e-cigarettes. He said preliminary federal data show a more than 75 percent surge in high school students regularly using e-cigarettes.
That means roughly 3 million, or about 20 percent of high school kids, are using e-cigarettes, up from 1.73 million, or 11.7 percent in last year’s National Youth Tobacco Survey.
The bill will go before a House committee later this month. If passed, vaping will be banned within 25-feet of public buildings and workplaces.