Less than a year after raising the tobacco age in town, Carbondale trustees are considering additional measures.
Following a presentation by Pitkin County Tobacco Specialist Risa Turetsky on June 11, Mayor Dan Richardson took an informal poll and found support for at least considering a flavor ban, licensing and / or taxation.
“We have an industry that is clearly obstructing the free flow of information, has specifically targeted our youth and tried to get them addicted — A wolf in sheep’s clothing,” Richardson said. “We are definitely the underdog and behind the 8-ball.”
The meeting came on the heels of a second failed compliance check for one local business, an outcome the Mayor speculated might have been avoided if the Town had the ability to revoke a license rather than just impose a fine for noncompliance.
In general, while Turetsky acknowledged Carbondale a leader on some fronts, she encouraged more of a full-court press. Her top concern was vaping, with 52.8 percent of Roaring Fork School District high schoolers saying they had used an e-cigarette in a 2017 poll and just 46.4 percent saying they find the behavior risky — far fewer than for traditional cigarettes.
“We don’t let people smoke in bars or in our house, and we’ve kinda made it clear to kids that it’s not safe,” Turetsky said.
But while education is part of the problem, she pointed to 29 percent of kids who said they were sad or hopeless on most days as a sign of a deeper issue. She also highlighted the potential youth appeal of candy-like flavors in e-cigarettes and other products, something Aspen recently opted to address.
“Vaping has gotten so many kids addicted, what’s going to happen when these other products come?” she queried.
The trustees seemed convinced of the problem, but not enough to take action without further
Heather Henry, in particular, emphasized the need to talk with the teens themselves about what might make the most difference.
In other action, trustees…
• Continued a public hearing on CMED, LLC’s marijuana cultivation, with Luis Yllanes as the sole vote against. “I don’t think it’s a good start to the whole process,” he said.
• Approved a pair of letter of credit modifications for the
Carbondale Marketplace and First Bank.