1A cracks down on vaping, tobacco use in Eagle County

On behalf of Mountain Family Health Centers, I urge Eagle County voters to vote “yes” on 1A in the fall election. Eagle County and the nation are learning about the dangerous health effects of vaping, which is when an “e‐cigarette” device injects high‐nicotine vapor and other toxins into a user’s lungs. Vaping has become the nicotine product of choice for teenagers: 39.3 percent of Eagle County high school students reported use of vaping products within the past 30 days, compared to 27.1 percent in 2015.

More than 5,000 Eagle County residents received care from Mountain Family Health Centers in the last 18 months, largely at our Edwards Integrated Health Center, Avon School-Based Health Center and new Basalt Integrated Health Center. We are concerned about the health problems vaping can cause for our patients and others.

Issue 1A will help Eagle County protect the most vulnerable residents and support public health. If passed, 1A approves a sales tax of $4 per cigarette pack and 40 percent on other nicotine and vaping products. Research shows that increasing the price of these dangerous products is one of the best tools for keeping cigarettes and vaping products out of the hands of our kids. Funds collected will support the county’s public health programs and education to prevent youth tobacco and nicotine use.

Please join us in working together to protect children and teenagers from nicotine and other harmful effects of vaping products.

Dr. Anneliese Heckert

Site medical director, Basalt Integrated Health Center