After months of debates and amending, Colorado’s House passed a ban on flavored vaping and other tobacco products this week. The bill passed 35-27 on Wednesday after the appropriations committee approved it earlier in the day on a 7-4 vote.
That ban will not apply to the sale of premium cigars after they were given an exemption during the debate process, as was pipe tobacco and hookah products.
The bill now goes to the state Senate. Even with the session end looming, one of its co-sponsors, state Sen. Rhonda Fields said she was optimistic, according to Colorado Public Radio.
“You know, it looks great. It’s on its way to the Senate, and then we’ll make sure it goes through all the appropriate committees and I’m looking forward to debating it,” said Fields.
Opponents say a ban would hurt convenience stores and vape shops and have argued the issue is one of personal choice.
For Fields, she said it’s about the toll tobacco consumption, driven by attractive flavors like menthol, has taken on the community.
“It started back in the ’60s, (the brand) Kool Cigarettes, all these menthol flavors,” she said. “The industry has now put flavors into vaping, into cigarettes to make it more attractive for young people to start smoking early.”
The measure, HB22-1064, bans retailers of cigarettes, tobacco or nicotine products from selling or marketing any flavored product. Those are defined as products “imparting a taste or smell other than the taste or smell of tobacco.”