Colorado Flavored Vape Ban Voted Down in Big Loss for Prohibitionists

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On May 10, a Colorado Senate committee voted against a bill that would have banned flavored e-cigarettes as well as most flavored tobacco products.

With the legislation unlikely to be revisited in the foreseeable future, it represents a notable stemming of the tide of bans around the United States.

Colorado’s House Bill 1064 has been the subject of intense focus this past week. Besides media coverage and campaigning, the sums thrown at lobbying—Altria and Reynolds American reportedly spent $149,000 and $173,000, respectively, on lobbying against the bill, while the Michael Bloomberg-funded Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids (CTFK) shelled out around $181,000 to support some 25 lobbyists in seeking to get it passed—illustrated the stakes.

Advocates argued that it would keep Colorado’s smokers at risk, close down small businesses and sink tax revenue.

The fight had something of a warm-up act in December 2021, when a legislative battle about a citywide flavor ban in Denver laid out what could happen on the state level: a highly fraught debate pitting a prohibition-leaning, anti-vaping contingent of many mainstream public health organizations against a pro-tobacco harm reduction camp of tobacco control researchers, drug policy reformers, consumer advocates, small business owners and the tobacco industry. Yet despite the fiery back-and-forth, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, a Democrat, vetoed the bill after it passed through the City Council, effectively saying he didn’t think the policy would work without being implemented throughout Colorado.

Read full article here.

Alex Norcia – Filter – 2022-05-13.

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