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DENVER (KDVR) — Mayor Michael Hancock’s veto of the flavored tobacco bill has prevailed as the Denver City Council failed to override it on Monday. The council ended the vote 8-4.

On Dec. 10, Hancock issued a veto on a bill that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco and accessories by 2023.

The highly contested bill aimed to ban products like vape juice in an attempt to keep tobacco out of schools and protect kids from the product. However, Hancock said the bill would hurt businesses while kids find other means to secure the product.

The council needed nine votes to override the veto.

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is disappointed in the council’s decision. They issued a statement saying in part:

Cancer is the leading cause of death in Colorado, killing an estimated 8,420 people in 2021. Smoking increases the risk of at least a dozen types of cancer including lung, colorectal, kidney, liver and pancreatic cancer.

Ending the sale of all flavored tobacco products is a critical step to reduce youth tobacco use and can help reverse longstanding health inequities. Menthol, other candy – and fruit-flavored tobacco products are a key part of the tobacco industry’s strategy to entice our youth into a potential lifetime of addiction. Research shows that flavors have driven the unprecedented increase in youth tobacco uptake, with 81% of kids who have ever tried tobacco starting with a flavored product.

Big Tobacco also has a long history of targeting lower-income, communities of color and LGBTQ+ communities, which has led to a disproportionate cancer burden. For example, Blacks still have the highest death rate and shortest survival of any racial group in the U.S. for most cancers; and Black men have the highest cancer incidence rate.”