Cannabis advocates are watching closely as state lawmakers consider limits on where e-cigarettes can be used in an effort to combat rising teen use of nicotine-containing vaping devices.
A bipartisan bill getting its first hearing Wednesday would add electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices to the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which restricts tobacco use at the workplace and in many public spaces.
E-cigarettes heat a nicotine solution into a vapor that’s inhaled.
Medical marijuana advocates are concerned expanding the law would unintentionally impact patients who are vaping prescription cannabis — for example, in apartments where potential vaping bans could be adopted.
Other states, including Vermont, have slapped taxes on e-cigarettes to deter teens from vaping.
U.S. health officials consider the growth in youth using e-cigarettes an epidemic, and a recent Colorado government study suggests 27 percent of minors regularly use the devices.
The Colorado bill would ban the use of electronic smoking devices in many public spaces and workplaces.
It would eliminate designated hotel smoking rooms and smoking areas at retirement homes, public housing and assisted living facilities.
It also would ban outdoor smoking within 25 feet of entryways, as opposed to the current 15 feet.
The thinking, according to bill sponsors: Making it more difficult for adults to vape will induce youth to cut their own consumption. Research suggests youth nicotine vaping can lead to lifelong tobacco use.