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American Lung Association Applauds Governor for Taking Step Forward on E-Cigarettes and Clean Air, Urges Him Not to Take Two Steps Back

(May 29, 2019) - DENVER

For more information please contact:

James Martinez
[email protected]
(312) 445-2501

Statement of JoAnna Strother, Director of Advocacy for the American Lung Association in Colorado.

“The American Lung Association in Colorado applauds the State Legislature and Colorado Governor Jared Polis for taking a step forward by signing legislation, House Bill 1086, which helps address the youth e-cigarette epidemic and protects the rights of workers and individuals to breathe smokefree air.

House Bill 1086 adds electronic smoking devices, known as e-cigarettes, to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act to eliminate their use in public and workplaces.

It will help reduce exposure to e-cigarette emissions and reduce the amount of places where Colorado teenagers are exposed to e-cigarettes. Twenty-seven percent of Colorado teenagers report currently using e-cigarettes earning Colorado the dubious distinction of the state with the highest teenage e-cigarette use in the country. A key strategy for addressing youth use of e-cigarettes is to eliminate the use of them in public spaces and workplaces, as youth can be highly sensitive to normalization and perceptions of harm based on what they see in their environment.

HB 1086 also closes many of the outdated loopholes that have left people exposed to toxic secondhand smoke in enclosed workplaces and public places. It will protect Coloradans from aerosols in e-cigarettes that can contain ingredients that can be not only harmful to the user but also potentially harmful to others through secondhand transmission.

Fifteen other states have added e-cigarettes to their smokefree laws, as well as dozens of local governments in Colorado that have already adopted local smokefree restrictions on e-cigarettes.

The Lung Association also urges Governor Polis to veto House Bill 1230, which if signed would take us two steps back on clean air protections by allowing marijuana and vaping indoors in licensed marijuana hospitality establishments. Decision makers must ensure that we continue to expand smokefree environments for Coloradons and not create new areas for secondhand smoke exposure for workers and patrons. 

It is imperative to lung health to have a strong Clean Indoor Air Act, and we cannot roll back Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air Act by allowing marijuana to be smoked or vaped inside any workplaces, including licensed marijuana hospitality establishments, in order to protect worker health.

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About the American Lung Association

The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease, through research, education and advocacy. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to improve the air we breathe; to reduce the burden of lung disease on individuals and their families; and to eliminate tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.

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