A group of eight Registered Neighborhood Organizations (RNOs) in the City and County of Denver recently sent a letter to Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and City Council urging them to end the sale of flavored tobacco products in an effort to protect the health of the city’s youth.
City Council is considering an ordinance that would make the sale of flavored tobacco of any kind – including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and cigars – illegal in the City and County of Denver.
“Gummy bear-flavored e-cigarettes, cotton-candy vapes and grape-flavored cigars are intended to attract kids,” says the letter signed by eight Denver RNOs. “The explosion of new tobacco products and flavors is undermining the progress Denver has made working collaboratively to invest in public health programs, promote the city’s healthy quality of life, and work to achieve better health care outcomes through the city. We have the opportunity at the local level to protect future generations from lung cancer, heart disease, COPD and other smoking-related illnesses in adulthood. We can do better. Denver deserves better.”
Flavored products have long been a tobacco industry tactic to hook kids on their products. 80% of young people who have ever used tobacco started with a flavored product, and nearly 83% of kids who vape are using flavored products. According to the Healthy Kids Colorado Survey, about 1 in 5 high schoolers in Denver use e-cigarettes.
In a recent poll, 65% of Denver voters said they support prohibiting the sale of flavored tobacco products that appeal to youth, and 80% say they are concerned that flavored tobacco is a starter product.
The letter was co-signed by the following Denver RNOs:
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods
Greater Park Hill Community Association
Jefferson Park United Neighbors
Northeast Park Hill Coalition
Overland Park Neighborhood Association
Ruby Hill Neighbors
Sloan’s Lake Citizens’ Group
More than 65 health and community focused organizations throughout Denver also support the ordinance, including Kaiser Permanente, American Heart Association, Denver Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Colorado Black Health Collaborative, National Jewish and more.
A full copy of the letter can be downloaded at: https://flavorshookkidsdenver.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/14_LETTER_Denver_Neighborhood_Orgs.pdf
To help support the ordinance, visit https://flavorshookkidsdenver.org/take-action/ and tell City Council to end the sale of flavored tobacco in Denver.