Denver, Colo. Raises Tobacco Purchasing Age to 21 (Update)


On Monday night, the Denver City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that will increase the minimum age to purchase tobacco from 18 to 21-years-old, a change that will go into effect as soon Mayor Michael Hancock signs it, which could be as early as Tuesday.

The increase also applies to e-cigarettes and similar alternatives to tobacco, and it will remove all tobacco products from vending machines.


Retailers will also be required to obtain a retail tobacco store license as of Jan. 1, 2021 in order to keep selling tobacco products. Existing retailers that file for a license by July 1, 2020 will be allowed to continue in operation until a final decision is made on the store’s application. The license won’t come cheap either, costing $250 to apply for and $500 to obtain and renew per year.

With a population of nearly 2.9 million residents, Denver is the 19th most populous city in the country.

Update (Oct. 1, 2019) — As was expected, the mayor signed the ordinance into law on Tuesday.

Featured image via Flickr user Larry Johnson  [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.

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Patrick Lagreid
About the author

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, plus I'm a voice over artist. I previously covered the Phoenix and national cigar scene for, and was an editor for Cigar Snob magazine.

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