Denver City Council Votes to End Sale of Some Flavored Tobacco Products, Must Do More to Protect Kids from Big Tobacco

Nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization disappointed Denver City Council voted to delay implementation and exempt certain flavored tobacco products from new sales restriction

December 6, 2021

Denver, Colo. – Today, the Denver City Council voted 8-3 to end to the sale of many flavored tobacco products including e-cigarettes and menthol flavored products.  However, the City Council exempted hookah, pipe tobacco including tobacco for roll-your-own cigarettes and premium cigars and delayed the implementation of the new ordinance to July 1, 2023.  The bill now goes to Mayor Michael Hancock for his consideration.

The following is a statement from ACS CAN Colorado Government Relations Director R.J. Ours:

"By removing menthol flavored tobacco products, flavored e-cigarettes and most other flavored tobacco products from its shelves, Denver has taken a critical first step to put public health over industry profit.  However, while we’re grateful to the council for such measures, we know that any flavored product that is left on the market risks becoming the next go-to product especially for youth. The amendment delaying implementation of this ordinance was an added disappointment.

"Menthol, other candy- and fruit-flavored tobacco products are a key part of the tobacco industry’s strategy to entice our youth into a potential lifetime of addiction. Research shows that flavors drive the unprecedented increase in youth tobacco uptake, with 81% of kids who have ever tried tobacco starting with a flavored product.

"Big Tobacco also has a long history of targeting populations with lower incomes, communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities, with flavored products which has led to a disproportionate cancer burden. For example, Black Americans still have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial group in the U.S. for most cancers; and Black men have the highest cancer incidence rate.

"While we encourage Mayor Hancock to sign the bill into law, ACS CAN and our volunteer advocates will continue to work with all Colorado elected officials and urge them to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products including hookah, cigars and loose tobacco to reduce the suffering and death caused by tobacco use and cancer in our communities."



About ACS CAN at 20 
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) makes cancer a top priority for policymakers at every level of government. ACS CAN empowers volunteers across the country to make their voices heard to influence evidence-based public policy change that saves lives. We believe everyone should have a fair and just opportunity to prevent, find, treat, and survive cancer. Since 2001, as the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN has successfully advocated for billions of dollars in cancer research funding, expanded access to quality affordable health care, and made workplaces, including restaurants and bars, smoke-free. As we mark our 20th anniversary, we’re more determined than ever to stand together with our volunteers and save more lives from cancer. Join the fight by visiting

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Priscilla Cabral-Perez