GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo., April 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Lone Tree's recent passage of tobacco licensing regulations will allow the community to better control the illegal sale of tobacco products to persons younger than 21, according to John Douglas Jr., MD, Executive Director with Tri-County Health Department (TCHD). Lone Tree's new tobacco regulation follows that of its Douglas County neighbor Castle Pines, which passed its new tobacco regulations in late 2019.
"This is one of many ongoing efforts in Douglas County to reduce youth vaping," noted Dr. Douglas. "The most recent data we have from the 2019 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey (HKCS) show we are making progress in our efforts in Douglas County to help young people not become addicted to nicotine."
The 2019 HKCS found that in 2019, 20.8 percent of high school students in Douglas County reported vaping in the past 30 days, a number significantly lower than the state as a whole. This amounts to a 31% drop in vaping among high school students in Douglas County from 2017 to 2019.
Dr. Douglas thanked several community groups, including the Douglas County Healthy Youth Coalition, Lone Tree Youth Commission and Douglas County Youth Leader Board, for helping bring about positive change seen in Douglas County in connection with youth tobacco use, especially vaping.
"We are pleased the Lone Tree City Council has opted to follow our recommendation and license the sale of tobacco products," said Julia Reigrut, Chair of the Lone Tree Youth Commission. "Preventing teens from accessing these highly addictive products is important."
Tri-County Health Department has long recommended strong local tobacco retailer laws, active enforcement of these laws, and that retailer tobacco-sales education be prioritized. In 2019, the TCHD Board of Health passed a resolution declaring youth vaping a public health crisis, encouraging community action such as tobacco retailer licensing, and committing TCHD resources to support these efforts.
Curtis Hanock, coordinator of Douglas County Healthy Youth Coalition (DCHYC), said that his organization is appreciative of the actions taken by both Lone Tree and Castle Pines city councils to keep nicotine products out of the hands of persons under the age of 21. "It's illegal for a retailer to sell any tobacco product, including cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes to anyone under 21. It's an important law and one we need to ensure is followed."
"As a mother of two teenagers in Lone Tree, I appreciate that my city has taken proactive steps to safeguard the health of our young people," said Lesley Casillas, leadership team member with DCHYC. "This law also helps us parents have more authority when we tell our kids not to vape because it negatively impacts their health."
Tri-County Health Department's tobaccofree303.org web site gives young people and parents resources regarding vaping and nicotine use, including tips on dealing with stress without turning to nicotine products. The site also details how the tobacco industry has targeted young people as it seeks to increase its products' market share.
Young people, parents or retailers with questions about the new tobacco licensing regulations, including how to implement in their own communities, are invited to contact their local municipalities or Taylor Roberts at Tri-County Health Department at [email protected].
About Tri-County Health Department
Tri-County Health Department serves over 1.5 million people in Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties. It provides over 60 programs and services including birth certificates, immunizations, WIC, restaurant inspections, family planning, STI/HIV Testing, and infectious disease investigations. For more information, visit www.tchd.org, @TCHDHealth on Twitter, or @cotchd on Facebook.
Erich Kirshner, Lasso Digital
303.921.6733 or [email protected]
SOURCE Tobacco Free 303