Stop Big Tobacco from targeting Denver kids!

About the Campaign

There’s a public health emergency unfolding right before our eyes — and the cause couldn’t be clearer.

Nearly one in five high school students have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days. In fact, youth e-cigarette use is still at what the Surgeon General and FDA have called “epidemic” levels. From 2017 to 2019, e-cigarette use more than doubled among U.S. high school students and more than tripled among middle school students.

This epidemic was driven by Juul, a sleek, high-tech e-cigarette that looks like a USB flash drive – and is small and easy to hide, comes in sweet flavors that entice kids and delivers a powerful nicotine hit. One Juul pod delivers as much nicotine as a pack of 20 cigarettes.

But Juul isn’t the only problem. There are now over 15,500 e-cigarette flavors and 200 cigar flavors, and more keep coming. These flavored tobacco products undermine Denver’s efforts to reduce youth tobacco use: 81% of kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product. 83% of youth e-cigarette users have report using flavored products.

While youth cigarette smoking is at an all-time low, cigars are still popular among youth, driven by the availability of kid-friendly flavors like “Banana Smash”, Strawberry Kiwi, and Chocolate Brownie. Nearly three-quarters (73.8%) of youth cigar smokers say they smoke cigars “because they come in flavors I like.”

Tobacco companies also continue to aggressively market menthol-favored cigarettes to kids, African Americans and other demographic groups as they have for decades. Youth smokers are more likely to use menthol cigarettes than any other age group. Menthol cigarettes pose a tremendous public health threat – they make it easier to start and harder to quit smoking.

The popularity of menthol cigarettes among African Americans and youth is a direct result of a decades-long targeted marketing campaign by the tobacco industry. African Americans smoke menthol cigarettes at high rates and quit smoking at lower rates, and African American men have high death rates from lung cancer. That’s why the NAACP and others want to restrict the sale of menthol cigarettes – because they hurt black communities especially.

Five states and hundreds of localities have enacted restrictions on the sale of flavored tobacco products. Denver can protect our kids by ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products, one of the most promising ways to prevent the industry from addicting our kids.


PRESS RELEASE: Coalition of More Than 100 Colorado Community, Education, and Public Health Organizations: Mayor Hancock Sides with Big Tobacco Over Public Health and Denver Kids

PRESS RELEASE: Edgewater City Council Unanimously Moves to End Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

PRESS RELEASE: 100 State and Local Organizations Support Ending the Sale of Flavored Tobacco in Denver

PRESS RELEASE: Coalition to End the Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products Lauds FDA Ruling to Ban Menthol Cigarettes

OP ED: Flavored products are driving the teen vaping epidemic — remove them from Denver stores

LETTER: Denver Principals Support Ending Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

LETTER: Denver Neighborhood Organizations Support Ending Sale of Flavored Tobacco Products

NEWS: Parents, Educators, CW Sandoval Voice Support for City Ban on Flavored Tobacco Products
March 15, 2021

NEWS: Vaping is powerfully addictive
March 14, 2021

NEWS: Op-Ed: Never Start Smoking, It's So Hard to Quit
March 7, 2021

NEWS: Denver Principals Send City Leaders Letter To End Flavored Tobacco Sales
February 22, 2021

OPINION: Denver must end the sale of flavored tobacco products that lure and addict youth
February 21, 2021

NEWS: A preventable health crisis in the LGBTQ community
January 29, 2021

PRESS RELEASE: New Poll Shows Denver's Hispanic Voters Support Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products
December 7, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: Nueva Encuesta Demuestra Que Votantes de Denver Apoyan Eliminar La Venta de Todos Los Productos de Tabaco de Sabor
December 7, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: New Poll Shows Denver Voters Support Ending the Sale of All Flavored Tobacco Products
December 7, 2020

NEWS: Colorado teens haven’t cut back on vaping, but experts see encouraging signs
September 26, 2020

NEWS: Tobacco Retail Is Concentrated Near Denver Schools And Low-Income Neighborhoods, A New Study Finds
August 13, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: New Study: Half of Public Schools in Denver Are Within 1,000 Feet of Tobacco Retailers; City Is Home to 23 Times More Tobacco Retailers Than McDonald’s
August 12, 2020

NEWS: ‘Everybody I Know And Hang Out With Vapes’: More Colorado Teens See The Danger In Vaping, But 1 In 4 Still Do It
August 4, 2020

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1 Juul pod contains about the same amount of nicotine as a full pack of 20 cigarettes.

Get the Facts


Of youth e-cigarette users report using a flavored product in the past month.

1 in 5 high school students in the United States use e-cigarettes.

4 out of 5 kids who have used tobacco started with a flavored product.

Source: 2013-2014 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) Study


African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council – AATCLC
African Chamber of Commerce Colorado (ACCCOUSA)
American Academy of Pediatrics – Colorado Chapter
American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights
Boys & Girls Club of Metro Denver
Brother Jeff’s Cultural Center
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Capitol Hill United Neighborhoods
Center for African American Health
Center for Health Progress
Children’s Hospital Colorado
College View
Colorado Academy of Family Physicians
Colorado Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care
Colorado Black Health Collaborative
Colorado Cancer Coalition
Colorado Children’s Campaign
Colorado Children’s Healthcare Access Program
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Colorado Council of Black Nurses Inc
Colorado Dental Association
Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO)
Colorado Medical Society
Colorado Nursing Association
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
Colorado Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
Colorado Public Health Association
Colorado Society for Respiratory Care
Colorado Thoracic Society
Denver African American Commission
Denver Alumnae Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Denver Asian American & Pacific Islander Commission
Denver Black Educators Caucus
Denver Council Parent Teacher Student Association
Denver Health (Hospital)
Denver Indian Health and Family Services, Inc.
Denver Latino Commission
Denver Medical Society
Denver Public Schools
Denver Resource for Awareness Prevention (RAP)
Denver Youth Commission
Eastern Colorado Council of Black Nurses Inc
Girls Inc.
Greater Park Hill Community Association
Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution

Healthier Colorado
Inner City Health Center
Interfaith Alliance of Colorado
Jefferson Park United Neighborhoods
Kaiser Permanente
Latina Initiative
Lowry United Neighborhoods
Lung Cancer Task Force
March of Dimes
Masjid Taqwa – Northeast Denver Islamic Center Mental Health Colorado
Mental Health Colorado
Metro Denver Dental Society
Metro Denver Oncology Nursing Society
Mile High Health Alliance
Mile High Medical Society
Montbello 2020
NAACP Denver Chapter
NAACP Statewide
National Association of Black Veterans
National Association of Hispanic Nurses
The National Organization of African Americans in Housing (NOAAH)
National Jewish Health
National LGBT Cancer Network
New Era
Northeast Park Hill Coalition
Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)
One Colorado
Overland Park Neighborhood Association
Parents Against Vaping Electronic Cigarettes (PAVe)
Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation
RMC Health
Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children
Ruby Hill Neighborhood Association
Servicios de La Raza
Servicios de La Raza – La Raza Youth Leadership Institute (Program & Conference)
SHAPE Colorado
Single Mothers of Color, Inc.
Sloan’s Lake Citizens Group
Tepeyac Community Health Center
The Center for Black Health Equity
The Center on Colfax
Tuchman Foundation
Urban League for Young Professionals
Urban Peak
Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1, Denver
YMCA Metro Denver
Young Invincibles