MONTE VISTA — At the last meeting of Monte Vista City council a change was made to the city’s code by approving ordinance 900 adopting a new article 9 of Chapter 4 of the Monte Vista code concerning tobacco retailer licensing. The new code raises the age limit that someone can purchase nicotine products and vaping products including pens from 18 to 21. The new ordinance is in compliance with the new federal law that took effect Jan. 1, 2020, raising the age to 21 nationwide.
Monte Vista City council had been working on this ordinance before the federal law was passed. Monte Vista City Clerk Unita Vance explained that the city had started putting together the ordinance after a council meeting Nov. 7. At that meeting Rio Grande Public Health Nurse Paul Wertz and three youth representing Rio Grande Prevention Partners youth group brought the issue before city council asking for the age to be raised. “There are several other communities in the state of Colorado that have done this and now that the federal law has taken effect we feel that this is a nail in the coffin to help protect our youth,” Vance told the council.
Councilor Gary Johnson raised a question asking if the new ordinance covers other vaping products that may not contain nicotine.
Rio Grande Public Health Nurse Paul Wertz was present and was able to offer some information saying, “I believe the ordinance here is stating any nicotine containing product really. The definition of tobacco product here it says: ‘Anything consumed whether smoked, heated, chewed, absorbed, dissolved, inhaled, ingested, or by any other means not limited to cigarettes, tobacco pipe, tobacco chewing or tobacco snuff.’ Tobacco product means any electronic smoking device, tobacco paraphernalia or any component or part used in the consummation of any tobacco product including the filters, papers, and liquids in the smoking devices.”
After further discussion Mayor Pro Temp Victor Sigala made a motion to approve the new ordinance that was seconded by councilor Gary Johnson. The motion was passed with no opposition.