Right to Vape Tour Visits Denver, Warns Against Amendment 72

Amendment 72, which is on the Colorado ballots that will be mailed out on October 17, would triple the state's cigarette excise tax, increasing it by $1.75 per pack if the measure passes. While some may think that sounds like a good thing — the money would go to various health-related projects in the state — many people who use vaporizers and even their own vape shops are not thrilled.

While Amendment 72 does not include vapor products, the Colorado Vape Association and the American Vaping Association met in Denver on October 13 during the AVA's Right to Vape tour to discuss how 72 could negatively affect vapor products in the future. Nearly fifty business owners, vaporizer users and concerned citizens from Colorado and Wyoming came to the meeting at the Independence Institute to learn more about what they could do to help support the movement.

On August 8, the FDA began to classify vapor products in the same category as tobacco products. That means that while Amendment 72 doesn't affect vaporizers now, it will in the future. This August started a two-year countdown that will end with the FDA ultimately prohibiting 99.9 percent of vapor products on the market, according to the AVA.

That countdown ends in what is called the "predicate date," also known as the grandfather date, which was established by the 2009 Tobacco Control Act; it allowed any product already on the market before February 15, 2007, to be grandfathered in. Any product created and produced after that date is required to submit substantial equivalence applications that are so expensive, they could could result in business closures, the AVA says.

The AVA and other supporters of the vapor industry are working to convince their legislators to change that predicate date, and the Right to Vape tour is pushing the cause. The tour started in Las Vegas on Sunday, and before landing in Colorado, the bus traveled through Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming to meet with local supporters and help organize a movement to help save the vape industry.

"This industry is doomed if the predicate date is not changed," says Greg Conley, president of the AVA. "We're here to encourage Colorado's senators to do that."
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Kate McKee Simmons interned at the National Catholic Reporter, was a reporter for the New York Post, and spent a brief stint in Israel learning international reporting before writing for Westword.