Sponsors of Colorado Flavored Vapor Ban Bill Confident

Credit Renan

Selling flavored tobacco and nicotine products could soon be illegal in Colorado if lawmakers approve — and the governor signs — a bill prohibiting their sale.

House Bill 22-1064 would ban, starting July 1, the sale of all flavored tobacco and nicotine products, including vapes, e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes, Hookah, chewing tobacco and cigars, in Colorado.

Under the proposal, any retailer caught selling flavored tobacco or nicotine products would be subject to the same penalties as a retailer caught selling to minors.

The measure’s sponsors are confident it would reach the finish line. 

State Sen. Kevin Priola, one of the sponsors, said he was inspired to take action after his son started vaping around the age of 14. Priola said he would constantly search his son’s room for vapes and would have to drive to far-away dumpsters to throw them away to prevent him from digging the vapes out of the trash.

“It’s everywhere. Our experience isn’t unique,” Priola said. “You look at the data and realize a lot of these manufacturers — they use the flavors to get young kids hooked on it.”

Brian Fojtik, a Denver resident and representative of the National Association of Tobacco Outlets, said the ban is unnecessary because youth tobacco use has been decreasing for years.

“It’s shortsighted approach,” Fojtik said. “Prohibition proponents aren’t protecting kids. They’re shamefully using kids as political props, attempting to use legitimate concern about youth vaping to ban hundreds of products to adults that youth are not using that have nothing to do with vaping.”

In December, Denver, Colorado’s City Council approved a controversial ordinance that outlaws the sale of flavored vaping and other tobacco products, including menthol, beginning in July 2023.