LETTER: Keep our air smoke, vape free

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Editor’s note: Gov. John Hickenlooper vetoed House Bill 1258 Monday, June 4.


Dear editor,

Allowing marijuana smoking or vaping any public place or workplace is the wrong direction for Colorado. No one should be forced to breathe smoke, whether it is from tobacco, marijuana, or vaping in public places or workplaces.

If signed into law by Gov. Hickenlooper, House Bill 1258 would allow marijuana shops to establish “tasting” rooms for people to consume marijuana on-site using electronic smoking devices. 

Electronic smoking devices emit harmful particulates and chemicals that could travel into  neighboring businesses or residences, affect workers who perform maintenance or deliver services, and expose employees or volunteers.  

A recent study indicates that significant amounts of toxic metals, including lead, leak from some e-cigarette heating coils. An exploding electronic smoking device killed a  Florida man recently.

Amendment 64 says that marijuana cannot be consumed openly or in public places or in a manner that endangers others.

HB 1258 could be difficult to enforce.  Some electronic smoking devices can contain tobacco, marijuana, and other drugs, according to the Centers for Disease Control. To ensure consistency and aid enforcement, smoke-free laws should apply to tobacco and marijuana.

HB 1258 is a step backwards. More than 25 communities in Colorado (including Brighton) have strengthened their local laws restricting smoking and vaping in public places and workplaces. Many include outdoor areas like parks, playgrounds, amphitheaters, trails, and open space.

The Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution hopes Gov. Hickenlooper will veto  House Bill 1258 and keep our smoke-free laws strong.


Pete Bialick

Pete Bialick is the president of the Colorado Group to Alleviate Smoking  Pollution (GASP) - a 501C3 statewide nonprofit organization founded in 1977  that works to eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke from the air we breathe.