Coloradans Can’t Vape In Public Indoor Spaces Anymore — And Smokers Outside Have To Be Farther From Doors

Craig Mitchelldyer/The Associated Press
In this April 16, 2019 file photo, a woman exhales while vaping from a Juul pen e-cigarette in Vancouver, Wash. Using e-cigarettes, often called vaping, has now overtaken smoking traditional cigarettes in popularity among high school students, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Colorado lawmakers have told vapers and e-cigarette users to take it outside.

A change to the Colorado Indoor Clean Air Act, effective on July 1, adds vaping to the longstanding prohibition of traditional smoking in most indoor public spaces. The new law also increases the distance from doorways that individuals are able to smoke or vape from 15 to 25 feet.

Alison Reidmohr, the tobacco communications specialist for Colorado’s Department of Health and Public Environment, said changing the law aligns the state with best practices according to health studies.

“That’s because the best studies have shown that drifting secondhand smoke can still have an impact on people up to 25 feet away,” Reidhmor said. 

The move will help protect customers and service industry employees at restaurants and bars from carcinogens and nicotine as well as prevent individuals from having to inhale secondhand smoke or vapor when entering a public space.

The change also comes in reaction to concerns over the number of youth vapers in state. Colorado high school students vape at about twice the national average.

“Colorado has the highest rate of youth vaping in the nation,” Reidmohr said. “We know that only 50 percent of our young people say that they perceive vaping as harmful compared to 90 percent with cigarette smoking.”

States with comprehensive clean indoor air laws do a better job of convincing youth that vaping is harmful.