Cigarette, e-cigarette use drops among Colorado teens

Data released in June by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) showed that despite claims of a national youth vaping “epidemic,” the percentage of teens who vape has declined since 2019.

The survey results included data for high school and middle school students. “The latest data are encouraging,” said Natalya Versheure, tobacco program manager at CDPHE, “but more needs to be done. We recommend that parents, schools and communities continue to encourage young people to make healthy choices and reinforce smoke-free habits.”

E-cigarette use among high school students dropped significantly for the first time after they arrived on site, officials said. It is currently at 16%, a percentage that has fallen from 26% in 2019. Among high school students, current use of e-cigarettes fell from 6 percent to 3 percent, and current use of any tobacco product dropped from 29 percent to 17 percent.

Proposal to ban tobacco and vaping flavors goes into effect

Earlier this year, bipartisan lawmakers in the Colorado General Assembly introduced House Bill (HB) 22-1064. The measure proposes a ban on flavored tobacco products, including e-cigarettes and heated tobacco products, menthol cigarettes, hookahs, chewing tobacco and cigars. Any violators will be subject to penalties similar to those imposed on retailers selling tobacco to minors.

The bill passed the Colorado House of Representatives in May and soon moved to the state Senate. Bill’s co-sponsor, State Senator Rhonda Fields, is optimistic. “You know, it looks great. It’s going to the Senate, and then we’ll make sure it gets through all the appropriate committees, and I look forward to debating it,” she said.

However, the Senate ultimately dropped the bill. The president of the American Steam Manufacturers Association applauded the move. “Colorado’s rejection of the flavor ban is a signal that other jurisdictions are refocusing public health efforts on what works — e-cigarettes,” she said. “Nicotine vaping is the most effective smoking cessation method ever.”

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