The squeeze on youth vaping in Colorado has tightened a bit additional, as Lakewood strikes to additional rigorously regulate the sale of digital cigarettes and totally different tobacco merchandise inside the state’s sixth-largest metropolis.
The ordinance, which took affect Saturday, requires any retailer selling non-cigarette tobacco merchandise — harking back to e-cigarettes, cigars and chew — to get a license from the city and study identification to ensure no person youthful than 18 is purchasing for the merchandise.
The metropolis’s new regulation moreover prohibits self-service exhibits of non-cigarette tobacco merchandise till the retailer is already an age-restricted tobacco enterprise.
“I think what we’re trying to do is make the retailers accountable,” acknowledged Margy Greer, Lakewood’s metropolis clerk. “We want them to be good stewards.”
Retailers who violate the regulation all through a three-year interval face a seven-day suspension of their license for a main offense and a 30-day suspension for a second offense.
The metropolis could revoke the license after a third offense.
Lakewood’s switch comes as youth vaping inside the United States has reached what federal properly being officers identify an “epidemic” diploma. It’s a particular draw back in Colorado, the place the state properly being division launched last summer season season that the vaping worth amongst highschool faculty college students — at 27 % — is twice the nationwide frequent.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment says higher than 90 % of vaping merchandise, embrace nicotine. Health officers moreover say analysis current that e-cigarettes can embrace heavy metals and chemical compounds acknowledged to set off most cancers. Vape cartridges are generally flavored with fruity, kid-friendly flavors.
“Kids like flavors and the industry knows that,” Colorado School of Public Health’s Tracy Doyle acknowledged. “We’re priming them for addiction.”
Lakewood’s switch comes amid a flurry of efforts at every the state and federal diploma to battle the surge in youth vaping.
Former Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an govt order last fall directing state regulators to step up their monitoring of retailers to ensure underage product sales aren’t happening. The governor moreover actually helpful elevating the minimal age to buy tobacco and e-cigarettes from 18 to 21.
Last week, a bill that will prohibit utilizing digital cigarettes and totally different vaping devices by placing them beneath the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act obtained a main listening to inside the state legislature.
At the federal diploma, U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette is scheduled to take a look at Children’s Hospital in Denver on Monday to unveil new legal guidelines that she says will lower utilizing e-cigarettes amongst children. No particulars had been launched about her impending bill, which was first launched on Friday.
Lakewood Councilwoman Dana Gutwein acknowledged the city’s new legal guidelines must work alongside any statewide, or federal, vaping measures which can cross.
“My hope is that both will also help educate the community as a whole, that like cigarettes, electronic vaping devices have associated health risks, like addiction, for youth,” she acknowledged.
Gutwein acknowledged Lakewood’s vaping regulation calls for annual checks by the city of every licensed retailer. A license will worth a retailer $400 for the first 12 months and $300 for every subsequent 12 months.
“We worked hard to find the right balance,” she acknowledged. “We don’t want to be too heavy-handed, yet, we also want to ensure that the consequences are serious enough to encourage prevention and compliance.”