Electronic cigarettes and vape pens could no longer be an easy and discreet way to legally consume cannabis or tobacco in Colorado, if legislators have their way. A bill to add vaporizing to the list of activities banned by the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act was introduced on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at a state House of Representatives committee meeting.
Originally passed in 2006, the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits the use of tobacco in public places, but excludes cigar lounges, casinos and some patios. When recreational cannabis laws took effect in Colorado in 2013, cannabis smoke was added to that list. Currently, the bill does not clarify or prohibit vaporizing. Advocates and sponsors of the Clean Indoor Air Act now want to add vaporizing of any kind (tobacco or cannabis) to that banned list, as well as retirement homes, hotels and within 25 feet of all public building entryways.
House Bill 19-1076 is sponsored by Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet, Rep. Colin Larson and supported by many business owners in Denver. HB-19-1076 amends the current Colorado Indoor Clean Air Act by “eliminating existing conditions for certain places of business in which smoking may be permitted, such as airport smoking concessions, businesses with three or fewer employees, designated smoking rooms in hotels and designated smoking areas in assisted living facilities. It also adds a clear definition of what an e-cig is and how it can adversely affect health.
Why the sudden change of heart on public vaporizing? Well for one, vaping among teens has become an epidemic, and Colorado has the highest rate of teens who vape in the country, according the U.S. Surgeon General. According to a 2015 survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 50 percent more middle school and high school students vape than traditional smoking methods. New commercials from The Truth claim that youth who vaporize are more likely to eventually use tobacco.
“The new bill poses a bit of controversy among those who medicate using cannabis vapor. However, state representatives and sponsors of the bill, Michaelson Jenet and Larson, assure patients that the Americans with Disabilities Act would allow them to vaporize cannabis when they need it if their medical condition required it.”
Vaporizing has become increasingly popular as the cannabis industry and its products evolve. Using a vape pen to consume cannabis allows patients to receive the medical benefits quicker, as this is a quick point of entry due how it is absorbed into the bloodstream. For many cannabis patients, vaporizing is a fast-acting and low-key way to curb social anxiety, chronic pain and muscle spasms, to name a few. While not as discreet as eating an edible, vaporizing is a different and quicker way of getting cannabis into the bloodstream and is used by many cannabis patients. The new bill poses a bit of controversy among those who medicate using cannabis vapor. However, state representatives and sponsors of the bill, Michaelson Jenet and Larson, assure patients that the Americans with Disabilities Act would allow them to vaporize cannabis when they need it if their medical condition required it.
According to breathefreecolorado.com, 76 percent of Coloradans say the Clean Indoor Air Act should apply to cannabis vaping, yet 65 percent of those voters say the decision on cannabis vaping indoors should be left in the hands of the specific business owners.
While social-use cannabis consumption has legalized in Denver, most are still unclear on the laws, and the city is has been slow to license the much-needed number of consumption lounges. Cannabis advocates and business owners wonder how this new bill might affect sales and business.