Denver on Monday night could join hundreds of other U.S. cities and several states that have raised the minimum required age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21.
The measure has gained initial support from Denver City Council members, who are expected to cast final votes late Monday.
Pitched by the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment, the law would cover all nicotine products — including vaporized ones — as well as any electronic devices used to consume them.
It would also require that Denver’s nearly 600 known tobacco retailers obtain a new license to continue selling the products.
If the council passes its ordinance, the new age requirement will take effect immediately, but retailers won't be formally cited for violations until more than three months later. Businesses would have to have the new licenses by Jan. 1, 2021.
The 21+ tobacco measure is just one highlight from Monday night's busy council agenda. The council is also expected to vote on the following items:
• Amendments to the city’s historic preservation law that would give developers, residents and landowners more time to work out a compromise in the case that a property's owner opposes its proposed landmark designation.
Those amendments, drafted by a city task force, would also add a category of "culture" to the criteria considered for potential landmarks to encourage residents to seek more designations in racially and economically diverse neighborhoods.
• A $16.75 million settlement with the Denver Rock Island Railroad that city officials have said is key to the progress of the National Western Center expansion.
If approved, the settlement will allow for the relocation of two stretches of railroad track that cut through the project site and run along the South Platte River. The agreement would also clear the way for roughly six acres along the river to become open space for center visitors and the public.
• A resolution declaring support for Proposition CC. The statewide ballot measure, which will go before voters this fall, would permanently remove Colorado’s revenue cap under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights.
Proponents say that it would generate hundreds of millions of dollars of much-needed funding for education and transportation.
Critics, however, say it would result in more financial burden on taxpayers because that excess revenue would otherwise be returned to them.