Vaping man

Larimer County has asked its head health official to work with municipalities in crafting a plan for how to crack down on the use of cigarettes and vape products among the county’s youth.

The Coloradoan reports that one-third of Larimer youth report using nicotine-vaping paraphernalia, which exceeds the statewide average.

This year, the General Assembly passed a law which enables localities to regulate and tax tobacco beyond what state policy provides. In the November general election, eight jurisdictions instituted cigarette taxes (between $3 to $4 per pack) and/or taxes on vape products.

Regulations identified for exploration in the county and the city of Fort Collins include raising the tobacco-purchasing age from 18 to 21, instituting a local sales tax and banning flavored vape products. A local sales tax would mean the elimination of the county’s share of state sales tax revenue on cigarettes, however.

Commissioner Steve Johnson said that the county and its municipalities “ought to all be on the same page” to ensure that regulations are consistent and effective, the Coloradoan reported.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been monitoring a nationwide outbreak of lung illness and deaths connected to vaping. In Colorado, there have been nine hospitalizations so far (all patients have been released). Last month, the CDC identified Vitamin E acetate, a sticky substance that coats the lungs, as a likely culprit.

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