Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Bill to Curb Underage Smoking Clears Senate

DENVER—Today the Senate gave final approval to Senate Bill 88, sponsored by Senator Ron Tupa (D-Boulder), which would close a loophole in law and make it illegal for minors to possess or use tobacco products.

Currently, Colorado law only prohibits the sale and distribution of tobacco products to people younger than 18 years old. Colorado is one of 15 states to have no prohibition on minors possessing tobacco products.

Ninety percent of tobacco users pick up the habit before age 18. The bill will help keep children safe and ultimately save taxpayer dollars in long-term health costs.

About 92,000 youth smokers 17 years old and younger are expected to die prematurely as a result of tobacco use. For every person who dies from tobacco, another 20 suffer with at least one serious tobacco-related illness.

The bill next moves to the House for consideration.