Jefferson County, Colo. — The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which already prohibited smoking indoors in most public places and workplaces, has been updated to include vaping. This expansion was effective as of this Monday, July 1, 2019.
This change comes at a time when vaping is at the forefront of the conversation in Colorado, with the state having the highest rate of youth vaping in the country. In Colorado, one-third of high school students are currently using at least one form of tobacco, with e-cigarettes being the most commonly used product. In Jefferson County alone, 29 percent of youth report currently using e-cigarettes. Studies show that youth who use e-cigarettes are four times more likely to start smoking traditional cigarettes.
“The more visible smoking and vaping are, the more likely they are to be perceived by adolescents as socially acceptable,” stated Khanh Nguyen, Tobacco Policy Specialist at Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH). “Evidence shows strong smoke-free policies reduce the likelihood that young people will start smoking.”
In Jefferson County, a 2018 household survey showed 71 percent of residents reported secondhand smoke exposure while entering or leaving businesses. The updated state law addresses this by increasing the distance from public entrances where people can smoke or vape from 15 to 25 feet, unless otherwise defined by local law.
State law also permits local jurisdictions to further expand their indoor and outdoor smoke and vapor-free laws to better protect their communities, such as making parks and other outdoor public spaces smoke and vapor-free. In Jefferson County, more than three-quarters of residents support smoke and vapor-free parks and outdoor public spaces, according to the 2018 household survey.
“We all deserve clean air to breathe without having to worry about secondhand smoke or breathing in vape chemicals. It makes sense to align the law for e-cigarettes with traditional cigarettes,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Jefferson County municipalities will be impacted differently by the updated law depending on the current provisions in their local smoke and vapor-free laws. JCPH will contact local community leaders to help assess what the law may mean for each community and what steps they can take to further protect their residents and visitors.
For more information, as well as printable signs for businesses, please visit http://bit.ly/CCIAAnews.
About the Tobacco Prevention Initiative
Jefferson County Public Health’s Tobacco Prevention Initiative continues to work toward reducing the toll of tobacco in our communities through sustainable solutions to the problem of tobacco use and exposure. To learn more about current initiatives and how to get involved, visit www.tobaccofreejeffco.com, email [email protected], or call 303-275-7555.
About Jefferson County Public Health
Public health is what we as a society do collectively to prevent illness and premature death and promote health in our neighborhoods and communities. Jefferson County Public Health (JCPH) is a nationally accredited health department committed to promoting and protecting health across the lifespan for all people through prevention, education and partnerships. To learn more about JCPH, visit https://www.jeffco.us/public-health. You can also follow JCPH on Twitter @JeffcoPH, Instagram @JeffcoPH and Facebook @jeffcopublichealth.