We’re excited about the work happening in Colorado to protect youth from lifelong tobacco addictions.
Last month, we shared how the Edgewater City Council voted unanimously to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products. Our focus now shifts to Denver, where we don’t yet know when exactly the city council will start to consider a similar ordinance, but where we could start to see movement come October.
For decades, tobacco companies have used flavors like menthol, gummy bear, blueberry muffin, and more to appeal to kids, mask the harsh taste of tobacco, and hook a new generation of smokers. More than 8 in 10 youth who have ever used tobacco products started with a flavored product.
In addition to targeting kids, for more than 60 years tobacco companies have deliberately targeted Black communities with predatory marketing for menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. With menthol cigarettes being easier to start and harder to quit, African Americans suffer disproportionately from the negative health impacts of tobacco. African Americans suffer the greatest burden of tobacco-related deaths of any racial or ethnic group in the United States. Nearly 45,000 African Americans die annually from a smoking-caused illness.
The not-so-good news is vape shops and tobacco lobbyists are working hard against the ordinance to protect Denver kids and communities of color from flavored tobacco products. Now more than ever we need your help to show city council there is strong community support for putting the health of our kids and community first.
Please take one minute to send an email of support to the Denver City Council here. Our email the council page makes it fast and easy.
If you’d like to learn more about this policy to end the sale of flavored tobacco and how tobacco companies target youth, communities of color, the LGBTQ+ community and others, check out a forum from earlier this year.