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Tobacco Education & Prevention Partnership

Reducing Tobacco Use in Boulder County

Tobacco use remains the number one preventable cause of death and disease in the nation and in Boulder County. Smoking and secondhand smoke contribute to heart disease, lung cancer, emphysema, and increase the risk of pneumonia, bronchitis, and ear infections in children. Tobacco products and secondhand smoke not only harm human health, but they can harm animals and our community’s environment.

The Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership (TEPP) works to prevent tobacco-related deaths and disease in Boulder County. Our priorities are to:

  • Reduce tobacco-related health disparities and address root causes of tobacco use
  • Provide tobacco-free spaces and reduce exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Prevent youth initiation of tobacco products
  • Support individuals who want to quit

man breaking a cigaretteQuitting Smoking Improves Health

Learn About Resources to Help You Quit

Quitting tobacco products is a journey and may take several attempts, but there are resources to help. Coaching, nicotine replacement therapy, and social support can all be important aspects of the quitting process and are offered in many of the programs included below.

Talk to your doctor about quitting and check with your insurance to see what medications are covered. Quitting often takes several different approaches, many of which are covered by insurance or offered for free or at a low cost.

Explore the following resources to help you or those that you care about to find the support they need to make the choice to quit and lead a healthier life.


CO Quitline

Smoke Free Gov

  • Programs that support all adults, including personalized support for older adults, veterans, teens, and Spanish speaking communities.
  • Personalized quit plan and support through their online, text, or phone app programs.

Baby and Me Tobacco Free

  • Personalized help for prenatal and postpartum women.
  • Test tobacco free postpartum and you may be eligible to receive diaper vouchers.
  • Find a location near you.

Longs Peak Hospital Cessation Support Group

  • In-person support group sessions are offered. Learn more.

Health First CO (Medicaid) Member Information

  • This guide is for those with this type of insurance. It has information on what cessation resources are covered.

Get help quitting tobacco using phone apps

Young People

My Life, My Quit

  • Free coaching, online or phone support, as well as additional information about tobacco products for young people.

Smoke Free Teen

  • Personalized quit plans, and online, text, or phone app supports for teens.

This is Quitting

  • Texting program for that provides motivational messages and support to help young people quit.
  • This program is specific to vaping products.
  • Text DITCHJUUL to 88709 to get started.

This Free Life

  • Campaign that works to prevent and reduce tobacco use by those in the LGBTQ+ community.

State of Colorado Youth Cessation Resources

  • A summary of youth cessation resources and can be downloaded and distributed as a resource for young people attempting to quit.

Healthcare Providers

The following resources are for providers to be more knowledgeable about what supports are available for their patients.

Organizational Supports

Become an Ex

Freedom from Smoking

Quit Curriculum for Organizations and Wellness Coaches

  • This curriculum is intended to provide a framework to guide conversation and provide support for individuals who are quitting.

Entryway sign template: no smoking or vaping within 25 feetSecondhand Smoke

Secondhand smoke is a combination of the smoke emitted from the burning end of a cigarette, pipe, vaping device, or cigar, and the smoke exhaled from the lungs of smokers. This mixture contains more than 7,000 chemicals, including many that are toxic and about 70 that are known to cause cancer.

Report a Complaint or Concern about Secondhand Smoke

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act (CCIAA) has been updated to protect most indoor places from secondhand smoke and aerosol. Nearly all indoor public places are smoke and vape-free, including restaurants, bars, libraries, all hotel/motel units, theaters, common areas in multi-unit dwellings, and many other places. A building’s main entryway must also be smoke and vape-free and smoking or vaping should not take place within 25 feet of that entryway (unless otherwise stated by local code).


Private homes, cigar bars, tobacco and vape retailers, limos under private hire, and marijuana tasting rooms are among the few exceptions to the law. Some retailers will be required to post age-restricted signage by October 1, 2019. Contact TEPP for more information, sign resources, and education.

Local Regulations

Boulder County municipalities may have adopted stricter regulations regarding smoking and vaping, so be sure to check your local code. Property owners and managers are also allowed to implement stricter code under the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, so check your workplace and organizational rules, too.

Tips to Meet Clean Indoor Air Requirements

Whether you are a business owner or a Boulder County resident, here are a few tips to make sure that the requirements of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act are being met:

  • Learn more about the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act expansion and recent updates.
  • Do not allow smoking or vaping within 25 feet of the main entryway.
  • Post no-smoking and no-vaping signs at all building or facility entrances.
  • Remove all ashtrays and other cigarette disposal containers from the main entryway to reduce confusion.
  • Download our free sign template, public factsheet, or request additional free resources from the Tobacco Education & Prevention Partnership.
  • When possible, try to avoid smoking or vaping near all entryways, operable windows, or in outdoor areas where the public gather to reduce drift.

Report a Complaint or Concern about Secondhand Smoke

Health Risks

There is no safe-level of exposure to secondhand smoke; even small exposures can trigger a heart attack, an asthma attack, or a stroke.

Secondhand smoke has been classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a known cause of lung cancer in humans (Group A carcinogen). It is estimated that over 7,000 lung cancer deaths occur in U.S. adult nonsmokers as a result of secondhand smoke exposure.

Secondhand smoke is a serious health risk to children. Health effects seen in children exposed to secondhand smoke include increased risk of lower respiratory tract infections, such as bronchitis and pneumonia, and ear infections; build-up of fluid in the middle ear; increased severity and frequency of asthma episodes; decreased lung function; and an increased risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Learn More

Report a Complaint or Concern about Secondhand Smoke

A multi-ethnic group of elementary age children are playing basketball together in the gym. They are dribbling the ball up the court.Youth Tobacco Use in Boulder County

Although smoking has been on the decline for young people over the last decade, there are still those who smoke and use other tobacco products. Additionally, the number of young people who have started vaping has skyrocketed, which is contributing to more young people being addicted to nicotine. Healthy Kids Colorado Survey data shows us that 7% of high schoolers are currently using cigarettes, and 5% report current use of other tobacco products in Boulder County (excluding vape devices).

Additionally, the popularity and culture around vaping, as well as industry marketing tactics that target youth, has increased the number of young people who are using products that contain nicotine. The rate of youth vaping in Colorado and Boulder County remains high. The latest data available is from 2019 and shows that 27.7% of youth are current users, and 46% of youth have ever tried vaping devices.

Learn more about vaping devices and their health effects.

While most of the focus lately has been on youth vaping, it is important to remember young people who are using more traditional tobacco products, and what new and emerging products may be attractive to young people. Little cigars, snuff, and chew still come in a variety of flavors, and can be purchased at a very low cost. The tobacco industry is constantly thinking of new products and ideas, and it is important to be aware of what new products are entering the market.

Certain People are More Impacted by Tobacco

Rate of tobacco use is higher among certain groups of young people. Youth of color, individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, those with low socioeconomic status, and those facing mental health struggles are more likely to use tobacco products. One reason for this disparity is the intentional targeting of these populations by tobacco industry marketing. Understanding these health disparities and how this impacts certain groups and individuals is important when considering how to support those who want to quit, or addressing this on a larger level.

Talking to the Young People in your Life

Talking to the young people in your life about tobacco use can be difficult, but research shows that having these tough conversations can make a difference in their choices to use substances. Connecting with the young people in your life to discuss these topics, whether you’re a family member, teacher, coach, or anyone else with a meaningful relationship with a young person, can influence their decision to make a healthier choice. The following resources are for those who have young people in their lives and address talking to them about this difficult topic.

Helping Youth Quit

We are seeing a new generation of young people who are addicted to nicotine, and youth will need support and help to quit when they are ready. Supporting youth on their journey towards quitting is important, as well as setting them up with the necessary tools to be successful.

Learn about resources that are catered to help young people quit.

Tobacco Free Schools

Young people spend much of their time in school and on school grounds, so it is important for school administrators and staff to be knowledgeable about tobacco products, and the laws and regulation around them. The following toolkit was created by Boulder County Public Health and the Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership program as a resource for school staff. Information in this toolkit includes:

  • Information on tobacco products, including vaping devices
  • Health effects
  • Data on youth use
  • Tobacco free schools law
  • Enforcement strategies
  • Safe disposal of vaping devices
  • Lesson plans for teachers
  • Quit resources

This toolkit was designed to be helpful for all school staff, including administrators, teachers, coaches, nurses, and counselors. See a web-based version of this toolkit on our Tobacco Free Schools page.


Regulations for tobacco and vaping devices are changing rapidly, especially when it comes to youth access to these products. There are several federal, state, and local regulations that apply to e-cigarettes and all tobacco products.

Learn more on our policy tab.

safe storage and handling of vaping devicesE-Cigarettes & Vaping

E-cigarettes or vaporizers are battery-operated devices that heat a liquid nicotine solution (or other substance) creating an aerosol that is inhaled into the lungs and released secondhand. E-cigarettes have many different names and brands including vape, tank, mod, e-device, or JUUL, but they all work the same.

E-cigarettes do not produce water vapor, instead they create an aerosol that can contain nicotine, ultra-fine particles, heavy metals, and flavorings. The chemical content of the aerosol can vary depending on the device, the liquid being used, and the temperature the device reaches.

There are no e-cigarettes or vaporizers on the market that have been approved by the FDA to help people quit tobacco. Though they may help some adult smokers transition from cigarettes, they are not harmless and are not safe for youth. Although much work has been done in Boulder County, we still have a high rate of youth vaping.

Health Risks

Research on the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes is still evolving, but there are plenty of short-term risks to consider. E-cigarettes increase blood pressure, cause respiratory issues and diseases, can addict non-tobacco users to nicotine, affect the developing brain, and expose bystanders to nicotine. Learn more about the health risks of these products.

Starting in 2019, there was an outbreak of E-cigarette or Vaping Associated Lung Injury (EVALI). This disease resulted in many cases and deaths across the US in the summer and fall of 2019. It was determined that vitamin E-acetate (found more commonly in off-market THC products) was most strongly associated with many of the EVALI cases, but many individuals also reported using nicotine devices. Investigations are still ongoing. Learn more about EVALI.

Safety Risks

E-cigarettes can explode and cause serious injury. Although rare, these explosions are dangerous.

Proper Disposal

E-cigarettes and e-liquids should be disposed of properly. They contain lithium ion batteries, recyclable parts, and nicotine (which is a hazardous waste). Boulder County residents can bring nicotine devices and e-liquids to Boulder County’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility for free disposal.


Regulations for e-cigarettes are changing rapidly. There are several federal, state, and local regulations that apply to e-cigarettes. Please see the policy tab.

images of different types of vaping devices

apartment buildingReport a Complaint or Concern about Secondhand Smoke

Housing Providers/Landlords

Secondhand smoke has no boundaries and can drift between units in a multi-unit dwelling through cracks in drywall, open windows, ventilation systems, and even plumbing. Secondhand smoke is more than a nuisance and individuals with chronic health conditions, older adults, pregnant women, and children are particularly at risk for health complications from exposure. Adopting a smoke-free policy is the only way to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke in multi-unit housing.

A Smoke-Free Policy Will:

  • Save money: cleaning and repairing a unit where smoking occurred can cost 2 to 3 times more.
  • Protect property: there are over 7,500 smoking-related fires in residential buildings every year.
  • Attract residents: 87% of Coloradans have adopted smoke-free rules for their home, almost 90% of Boulder County adults don’t smoke, and many prefer smoke-free environments.
  • Ensure health: up to 65% of air can recirculate to other units in a multi-unit building. Even small exposures can cause health complications. There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Tools & Resources to Help with Policy Implementation

no smoking within 25 feet of any buildingsign: welcome to our smoke-free propertysign: smoking in designated areas only


Since secondhand smoke can travel throughout a building from several entry points, the Tobacco Education and Prevention Partnership encourages residents to keep a log of where and when they experience secondhand smoke drift and communicate with management about what they’ve been experiencing and how exposure it is affecting them. Remember, smoke-free living does not require people to quit smoking, it provides protections to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke. A documentation log can help start a conversation with management to help find a solution. Finding solutions and remedies can sometimes take time, but starting a dialogue with management is usually the first step.

Resources to Help Find Resolution

Tobacco Prevention Strategies

Tobacco prevention has been changing rapidly with high rates of youth vaping across the nation. Learn more about strategies that protect youth from tobacco products.

Youth Prevention

Best Practice Strategies to Reduce Youth Access to Products

The following factsheets describe the strategies that have been shown to reduce youth access and initiation of tobacco products. Many local communities are using these strategies to help protect their young people from harmful tobacco products, including communities in Boulder County

Federal Protections

The federal government raised the minimum legal sales age to 21 years old, and to restrict flavored -liquids, including JUUL and other cartridge-based systems. The minimum legal sales age went into effect on December 27th, 2019. The federal flavor restrictions go into effect February 6th, 2020. These protections apply to all communities in the country.

Local Protections

Boulder County has one of the highest rates of youth vaping in the state and the nation. Some communities in Boulder County have changed their local regulations to restrict youth access to tobacco products. Below is a list of the most recent changes in Boulder County, with a link to local ordinances.

Smoke Free Protections

Find a summary of smoke free protections and regulations on the secondhand smoke tab.

Community Engagement

Community members play a large role in informing local policy. For more information and how to get involved in local policy efforts, contact us.

Contact Us

Tobacco Education & Prevention Program (TEPP)

Main: 303-413-7540
Submit a question


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