Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Youth Smoking Ban Heads to Senate Floor

A Senate committee approved Monday a bill that would ban minors from possessing cigarettes and other tobacco products throughout the state.

SB 88 would make Colorado the 36th state to forbid minors from possessing tobacco. The bill would not subject youth to criminal penalties; it merely authorizes law enforcement officers to take the contraband.

Supporters of the bill, including several high school students, told the Senate's State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee that creating a stigma around cigarette and chewing tobacco use could reduce the temptation for teenagers to use tobacco.

Four counties and 47 cities and towns in the state currently ban minors from possessing tobacco products.

The bill is sponsored by Sen. Ron Tupa, D-Boulder.