HAE

We all want the same thing: a healthy community where we and our loved ones can thrive. We can all contribute to healthy communities both through our own behavior and by supporting policies that protect everyone. That’s why communities across Colorado are organizing to reduce the toll of tobacco. 

Why it is important: Over the last few years, youth cigarette use has been steadily declining. Yet youth vaping has seen a large increase. The Healthy Kids Colorado Survey is the only comprehensive survey on the health and well-being of young people in our state and is a good indicator of youth use in our community.

In 2019, we surveyed Loveland retailers to try to understand the level of support for local policy options. The results of the survey and policy options can be found here. 

The 2016 Community Health Survey completed by the Health District of Northern Larimer County asked Fort Collins residents if they favored a license to sell tobacco products. The results and policy options can be found here.  

Here are possible focus areas your community may be interested in pursuing:

Strong local tobacco retail licensing

  • Regular compliance checks may result in large reductions in the use of cigarettes and may also result in lower e-cigarette use.
  • An independent study conducted in Colorado indicates that retail licensing leads to lower tobacco violation rates.

Increasing the minimum legal sale age

  • Increasing the minimum legal sale age can make can make a significant impact on decreasing tobacco initiation especially among 15 to 17 year olds.
  • In Colorado, 6 municipalities have adopted T21 while nationally 12 states and 450 cities and counties have raised the minimum legal sale age.

Restricting flavors

  • More than 80% of youth who have used a tobacco product started with a flavored tobacco product.
  • 82% of teens report flavors as being the reason they use electronic cigarettes.

Increasing prices

  • Tobacco price increases are a proven tool for discouraging youth use.
  • New Colorado legislation has given local government more control over the sale of nicotine products, including e-cigarettes.
  • Prices can be increased in a variety of ways, including taxation and laws and regulations establishing minimum prices, restricting the use of coupons, prohibiting the distribution of free samples, and limiting price discounts, giveaways, and retail value-added schemes (like “buy-one-get-one” free offers).

Smoke-free policies

  • Passing smoke-free policies is an important step in creating healthy environments. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control, the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke is to eliminate smoking in homes, worksites and public places.

Tobacco-Free schools

  • Implementing a tobacco-free schools policy protects kids from secondhand smoke and encourages young people to never start smoking and/or vaping. We can provide local schools with the tools and strategies to develop and implement comprehensive policies and procedures so they can review, revise, implement, and enforce tobacco-free school policies in their schools and districts.

Find out what is being done at the state level.