Hancock signs new Denver law forbidding tobacco sales to people under 21

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DENVER — The Denver City Council voted to prohibit the sale of tobacco products — including e-cigarettes — to people under the age of 21 Monday night. Mayor Michael Hancock signed the ordinance Tuesday. It took effect immediately.

In addition to raising the age, the ordinance requires sellers of tobacco products to get a new license by next year. The license will cost $500 annually to renew.

After 2020, no new tobacco sellers can be within 1,000 feet of schools and recreation centers.

Bob McDonald, the public health administer for the city of Denver, said it’s “unlikely” tobacco stores will be cited right away for selling underage — recognizing the change may take some time for clerks to understand.

“We are going to make every opportunity here to make sure that every retailer is aware,” McDonald said.

As for tobacco users, on the campus of Metropolitan State University of Denver, the reviews were mixed Tuesday.

“It will force people to go black market,” said Josh, a Metro State student.

“I think it’s a little silly,” said Leland, a 20-year-old vape user. “I don’t know how much it’s going to do to restrict access.”

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