Breckenridge Town Council agrees to explore nicotine tax, age increase to address public health concern |

Breckenridge Town Council agrees to explore nicotine tax, age increase to address public health concern

BRECKENRIDGE — At its regular meeting Tuesday, Breckenridge Town Council passed the second reading of a trash enclosure ordinance and observed a presentation advocating for a nicotine tax in town.

The nicotine tax issue was raised by representatives from Summit County government and the Youth Empowerment Society of Summit, which gave a presentation about the dangers of teen vaping. Sobering statistics — such as how 40% of Summit High School students reported recently vaping in a 2017 study — were offered as evidence that vaping has become a top public health concern. The council agreed to explore a tax on nicotine products, with a potential age increase for purchasing vaping products.

The Dillon Town Council also is considering new taxes and age restrictions on nicotine products.

Also Tuesday:

• The Breckenridge council passed a second reading of a trash enclosure ordinance that included changes to grease recycling, a prohibition of the disposal of hot ashes and increased enforcement mechanisms. The ordinance also would allow for the construction of a private trash enclosure in the commercial shared trash enclosure area with approval from the Community Development Department.

• In the manager’s report, it was announced that work would resume on the town’s municipally owned, privately operated Fiber9600 fiber optic project in the Wellington neighborhood. There also will be repaving in Wellington, and the town is looking to partner with Xcel Energy on a joint trenching operation in early August.

• Breckenridge transit ridership was reported to be up 18% year to date and 12.2% in June compared with June 2018. It is now the 13th consecutive year that ridership on Breck Free Ride went up by a double-digit percentage.

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