New Study Shows Steady Decline of Tobacco Use, Rapid Rise in Vaping

Local News

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.- A new study finds Colorado saw about a 15 percent decrease in tobacco use over a ten year period, and an 8 percent increase in vaping over about a two year period.

A local tobacco shop owner says this hasn’t necessarily impacted business.

“As far as our core sales, we mostly sell pipes and tobaccos,” said Lucas Benson, owner of Rem’s Tobacco Shop, “It stays pretty steady.”

The rise in vaping use and decrease in tobacco use poses new obstacles to the health insurance market, according to a local health insurance agent in Grand Junction. He says though, this varies state by state.

“In the state of Colorado, there is no surcharge for tobacco use at all,” said Randy Pifer, president of Active Insurance Solutions in Grand Junction.

Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurance premiums can increase by up to 50 percent for folks who say they use tobacco. But, vaping products are currenlty not included in this surcharge. Randy Pifer feels given the recent issues surrounding vaping, things could change in his business.

“The only thing that it (vaping) poses to the health insurance industry is the potential for increased types of treatment,” Pifer said. Certainly based on recent months and the past couple of years of people being hospitalized, particularly younger folks.”

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