New law aims to help address teen vaping epidemic
(May 29) — Gov. Polis signed a bill that modernizes the 2006 Clean Indoor Air Act. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, would add hookah smoking, electronic smoking devices or e-cigarettes to the list of prohibited activities in indoor public places and workplaces.
Reports show that over a quarter of Colorado’s teens currently use a vaping product.
“Our state is number one in teen vaping and that’s not a title we want to hold. As a parent of teenagers, I share the concern of parents across our state who are increasingly disturbed by this growing public health problem and how it is impacting our children and their development,” said Rep. Michaelson Jenet, D-Commerce City. “This new law will help show our young people that vaping is harmful for them, their peers and their health.”
HB19-1076 protects people of all ages against the dangers of secondhand smoking exposure from electronic cigarettes. It also ensures that existing smoke-free laws are being enforced. In 2018, the U.S. Surgeon General called teen vaping an epidemic.
In January of this year, the American Lung Association released the State of Tobacco Control report and gave Colorado a “B” grade for its smoke-free air citing Colorado’s use of electronic smoking devices indoor. The report also suggested strengthening state and local laws around youth access to tobacco products to raise its “D” grade for Colorado’s funding for state tobacco prevention programs. The report found the state is spending only half the amount the Center for Disease Control recommends on prevention programs.