Statement of Ellen Penrod, Executive Director of the American Lung Association in Colorado, in response to Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper's vetoes of House Bill 1258 and Senate Bill 179:
The American Lung Association in Colorado was pleased by and thanks Governor Hickenlooper for his vetoes of House Bill 1258 and Senate Bill 179 that would have weakened public health protections in Colorado.
House Bill 1258 would have created licensed marijuana consumption establishments, or clubs, that would have allowed the use of marijuana in electronic smoking devices indoors. The U.S. Surgeon General concluded in a December 2016 report that e-cigarette aerosol is not harmless, and can contain harmful and potentially harmful chemicals, including nicotine, heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and ultrafine particulates. This bill would have moved Colorado backwards by creating more places where electronic smoking devices could be used indoors exposing workers and patrons to the harmful chemicals from the aerosol of such devices.
In Colorado, more than two dozen communities have added e-cigarettes to their smokefree workplace laws, and the American Lung Association in Colorado urges more communities and ultimately the state to do the same.
Senate Bill 179 would have provided tax breaks for Colorado businesses selling tobacco out of state and more egregiously taken money from healthcare programs, including tobacco prevention programs, to pay for the tax cut. The American Lung Association in Colorado believes that under no circumstances should money be taken away from programs that prevent and reduce tobacco use – especially to pay for a tax break for companies selling tobacco. Colorado should focus instead on raising the price of tobacco products to decrease tobacco use among kids and save lives.
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 education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Platinum-Level GuideStar Member, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org. To support the work of the American Lung Association, find a local event at Lung.org/events.