Store shelves across Denver will continue to carry flavored tobacco products after city lawmakers on Monday were unable to overturn Mayor Michael Hancock’s veto of a bill banning their sale.
Council members voted 8-4 to overturn Hancock’s veto after some brief comments. Council needed at least nine votes to overturn the mayor’s veto.
The bill was passed by city lawmakers last week by an 8-3 vote following months of tweaking and public hearings.
Council members Debbie Ortega and Amanda Sawyer proposed the law primarily to curb teen smoking in the city. The city lawmakers who opposed the bill felt the law wouldn’t accomplish its goal and instead punish adults who wanted to use the products and potentially put some local shops selling them out of business.
Last Friday, Hancock vetoed the bill, saying in a statement he preferred a statewide ban rather than one specific to the city. He noted the potential hit local businesses would take as another reason why he vetoed the bill. It marked only the second time Hancock, who has served as mayor since 2011, vetoed a bill passed by the Denver City Council.
Council members Candi CdeBaca, Chris Hinds, Paul Kashmann, Robin Kniech, Ortega, Amanda Sandoval, Sawyer and Jamie Torres voted to overturn the veto. Council members Kendra Black, Jolon Clark, Kevin Flynn and Chris Herndon voted against the veto override.
Kashmann voted to override the veto after voting “no” on the bill last week, while Clark, who supported the bill last week, sided with the veto on Monday.
The bill would have outlawed the sale of things like flavored cigarettes, including menthol cigarettes, chewing tobacco and vape liquids.