Colorado HB 1258

New Threat to Smokefree Air

House Bill 1258 (marijuana tasting rooms bill) has passed the Legislature and now goes to Governor John Hickenlooper.

Please contact Governor Hickenlooper and ask him to veto House Bill 1258.  Contact the Governor online or send him a letter to:
Office of the Governor 
136 State Capitol Bldg 
Denver, CO 80203


HB 1258 will allow for vaping of marijuana in electronic smoking devices on site indoors. Because Colorado’s Clean Indoor Air law does not yet address electronic smoking devices, this bill poses a very real threat to keeping indoor places free from hazards contained in e-device emissions. In several peer-reviewed research studies, tobacco and marijuana smoke have been shown to impair blood vessel function and contain significant amounts of chemicals harmful to public health. Therefore, people who choose to smoke or vape marijuana should not smoke/vape it indoors where it could harm others. To protect public health, the smoking and vaping of marijuana should not be allowed in indoor spaces where those emissions pose a serious health hazard to workers and others in the building.

Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver


February 18, 2021

In a time where there is more emphasis placed on public health and safety in the workplace, it is surprising that an ordinance has been drafted to bring marijuana/cannabis smoking and vaping into Denver’s restaurants, bars, marijuana businesses and other places throughout the Mile High City. If passed, Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver will bring marijuana smoking indoors to restaurants and other establishments

The City of Denver has always worked hard to create workplaces that are free from secondhand smoke from both tobacco and the aerosols emitted by electronic cigarettes. These protections remain very popular with the public. To vast public support, Denver International Airport closed its last smoking room to become 100% smoke free, thus protecting the health of hundreds of airline passengers and staff.

It took decades of effort for Colorado to achieve statewide smoke free restaurants, bars, retail stores, and most public places. Two years ago, the Colorado legislature strengthened the law and closed several key gaps in the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act that was adopted in 2006. The modernized law eliminated exemptions that have allowed smoking in small workplaces, hotels, and long-term care facilities. It also prohibits the use of electronic smoking devices in smoke free venues. Undoubtedly, allowing marijuana smoking or vaping in places where smoking and vaping is now prohibited will undermine the laws that protect the public from exposure to secondhand smoke and secondhand vapor.

Smoke is smoke. Secondhand marijuana smoke is a health hazard for nonsmokers and smokers.  There is now enough scientific evidence to affirm that secondhand marijuana smoke creates a serious health risk to the public.  Just like secondhand tobacco smoke, marijuana smoke is a potent source of PM 2.5 fine particulate matter, which is hazardous regardless of source, including wildfires and air pollution. Secondhand marijuana smoke impacts cardiovascular function and it contains thousands of chemicals and at least 33 carcinogens. In short, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke, and everyone should have the right to breathe smoke free air in public places and workplaces.

While so many neighborhoods in the Denver Metro area are currently combating COVID 19, a deadly virus that attacks the lungs, opening public places like restaurants and bars where the public and workers are exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke or electronic cigarette aerosols is a bad idea. Marijuana industry profits should not take priority over people. The last thing needed is to create a new class of workers that would have to sacrifice their health for a paycheck.

The undersigned national and statewide public health organizations have come together to raise the alarm against this attack on clean indoor air protections and worker health. We strongly urge the Denver City Council to take a stand for community health by not opting in to Bill to Enact Marijuana Hospitality Program for Denver. Do not roll back hard-won local public health protections by allowing for marijuana smoking and vaping indoors. Let us all stand strong behind the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. There is no need for people to smoke or vape in ways that harm other people including workers.


RJ Ours,
Colorado Government Relations Director
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, Inc. 
Sarah Belstock, MSPH
Behavioral Health Planner
Community Health Promotion Division
Denver Public Health
Tracey Richers Maruyama, MA
Chronic Disease Tobacco Program Planner 
Community Health Promotion Division
Denver Public Health
Fernando Pineda-Reyes
Chief Executive Officer
CREA Results
JoAnna Strother
Senior Director | Advocacy | AZ, CO, NM, NV, UT
American Lung Association                     

Pete Bialick, President
Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution
GASP of Colorado 

Char Day
Program and Training Specialist
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights

Christopher Roller
Vice President of Advocacy
American Heart Association

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