Teens in Jefferson County continue to use e-cigarettes at an alarming rate of more than 15%, creating a new generation addicted to nicotine. When asked, more than 80% of teens indicated that flavors were a reason for trying a tobacco product for the first time.
While cigarette smoking rates have decreased in recent years, the number of youth and adolescents using new forms of tobacco, such as e-cigarettes or vaping, has skyrocketed placing decades of progress at risk.
Tobacco use is a leading cause of preventable disease and death, and a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. Of the approximately 480,000 Americans who die from smoking each year, 35% of those deaths are from cardiovascular disease.
To help combat the tremendous toll tobacco use has, the American Heart Association supports policies that can lead to significant reductions in tobacco use and result in health and economic benefits.
Currently the American Heart Association is working with a coalition made up of community health organizations, and the Golden City Council on a policy that would end the sale of all flavored products within the city. In addition, the City Council is looking to update their tobacco retail licensure to align with best practices of having public health professionals conduct checks on retailers.
The Golden City Council took the first important step toward eliminating the sale of all flavored tobacco products in the city during a study session held on June 6. The Jefferson County health department presented the dangers of flavored cigarettes, e-cigarettes and other tobacco products, and the tobacco industry’s targeting of youth and marginalized communities with flavored tobacco products.
The Golden City Council will consider an ordinance during the first hearing on July 11. Golden residents who would like to voice their support for a comprehensive policy to end the sale of all flavored tobacco products can contact Eric Heydorn, Government Relations Director, at [email protected].