On Friday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock vetoed a proposed ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products, and on Monday, the city council came up one vote short of overriding the veto. The 12-member council needed to secure at least nine yes votes but could only get eight, with the override failing by a 8-4 tally.

Had the council overridden the veto, the ordinance would have banned the sale of most flavored tobacco products in Denver as of July 1, 2023, though there were two exemptions. One was for hookah lounges, while the second would have allowed for the sale of flavored tobacco products at tobacco stores, such as a premium cigar shop. That exemption came by way of an amendment that allowed cigar shops to sell both flavored handmade cigars, which itself came via a previous amendment, but all flavored tobacco products. Both exemptions stemmed from the existing requirement that both types of businesses limit admittance to persons over 21-years-old.

While the mayor expressed interest in a ban, he noted that it was largely a symbolic ordinance since the products could still be purchased in neighboring cities, while Denver-based businesses would lose revenue by sales going across city lines. He has since instructed city staff to begin conversations with regional and state partners on the issue to see if it aligns with the public health significance of underage tobacco sales, adding that he plans to be in contact with Gov. Jared Polis on statewide initiatives to better address youth tobacco use.

Patrick Lagreid

I strive to capture the essence of a cigar and the people behind them in my work – every cigar you light up is the culmination of the work of countless people and often represents generations of struggle and stories. For me, it’s about so much more than the cigar – it’s about the story behind it, the experience of enjoying the work of artisans and the way that a good cigar can bring people together. In addition to my work with halfwheel, I’m the public address announcer for the Colorado Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks during spring training, as well as for the Salt River Rafters of the Arizona Fall League, the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and the Arizona Rattlers of the Indoor Football League. I also work in a number of roles for MLB.com, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for Examiner.com, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.