Colo. Health Department holds tobacco public hearing

Dissolvable tobacco products are being test-marketed in Colorado, and the state Board of Health wants to know what the public thinks about the products.

The board is holding a public hearing to listen to concerns about disolvable tobacco, from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 17 at the board’s Denver offices.

Dissolvable tobacco represents the newest line of tobacco products marketed by the tobacco industry. These products pose potential health concerns, particularly because of their appeal to a younger age group. Some of the products are packaged like breath mints and strips. Counties throughout the state have reported seeing these new products in local stores, said Laura Davis, president of the board of health.

“The Board of Health wants to provide an opportunity for public input on the sale of dissolvable tobacco products in Colorado. The public health concern is that the composition, packaging and flavoring may have a particular appeal to kids. In 1989, the board adopted a resolution opposing the marketing and sale of a new tobacco product, and the board may consider a similar resolution for these dissolvable tobacco products,” said Laura Davis, board president.

Colorado research has shown children have easy access to tobacco products, with nearly half the children who purchased tobacco illegally reporting they were not asked to show any proof of age.

“While data specific to tobacco dissolvables are not yet available, the research on cigarettes and tobacco is conclusive. Tobacco is highly addictive, and use of tobacco products can lead to cancer, heart disease and stroke, ” said Dr. Chris Urbina, executive director and chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

More than 80 percent of adults who use tobacco started before the age of 18. Tobacco use remains the leading cause of preventable disease and death and is a major driver in health care costs.

For more information about the meeting, click here.