Newly signed Bill Raises Minimum Age of Sale for Tobacco Products

Retailers Face Statewide Licensing and Comprehensive Enforcement for First Time in History

July 16, 2020

Denver, Colo. – On July 14, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed a bill that will increase the state minimum age of sale for all tobacco products to age 21 with measures that enable active enforcement including retailer licensing and penalties that include license suspension and revocation for non-compliant retailers. In addition, House Bill 1001 repeals the criminal penalty for purchasing or attempting to purchase tobacco products as a person under 21 years of age.

In response, R.J. Ours, Colorado government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), issued the following statement:

“E-cigarettes have helped cause a youth tobacco use epidemic in communities across Colorado, where teens are using e-cigarettes at twice the national average.

“Our lawmakers should be doing everything in their power to protect our kids from a lifetime of tobacco addiction. Disrupting the sale of tobacco products to individuals under 21 by raising the minimum age of sale of all tobacco products including e-cigarettes to 21 is an important step to help reduce youth initiation. Nearly 95% of adults who smoke started smoking before the age of 21.

“We deeply thank our wonderful bill sponsors and Governor Polis and commend our elected officials for approving this bill. ACS CAN looks forward to working with them into the future to address the dangers of tobacco addiction and toward an ongoing comprehensive cancer prevention, early detection and treatment strategy.”

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