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Colorado State Senator Vapes Inside State Capitol

Colorado State Senator Vapes Inside State Capitol


Colorado State Senator Vapes Inside State Capitol

The U.S. government, at both the federal and state level, hasn’t been known for its vape-positive attitudes. However,in certain states vaping is permitted even within the higher levels of government chambers.

Recently, Democratic State Senator Daniel Kagan of Colorado was seen vaping while presiding as a member of the Senate's Judiciary Committee. Colorado state law doesn't explicitly prohibit vaping inside the Capitol, in fact it doesn't prohibit vaping inside anywhere - with the exception of schools.

"As far as I know I'm not breaking any laws and I always ask permission," Kagan told the local Fox Denver Channel 2 station. "I don't think it's ideal, but vaping has been a lifesaver. I was a smoker for decades."

Media Bias

There are a few ways to unpack the aforementioned TV news story. On one hand, it’s a positive sign to see that vaping has become so popular that even within the walls of a state government’s senate capitol vaping is openly permitted.

However, the media coverage by Fox persists in reinforcing some of the negative stereotypes that persist about vaping, including in their coverage an interview with Dr. Mark Montano, a physician at Health One Colorado arguing that “vaping isn’t good for you” without broader context.

The story also cherry-picks assessment of the recent report from the National Academy of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, using that report’s dubious claim that “vaping could lead to an increase in actual smoking.”

In fact, in the same report, the National Academies also found that vaping was a healthier alternative to smoking.

“There is conclusive evidence,” the report says, “that completely substituting e-cigarettes for combustible tobacco cigarettes reduces users’ exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in combustible tobacco cigarettes.”

These findings of the recent report by the National Academies showcases the difficulties that the vaping industry faces when met with scientific evidence and misinformation spread by inconclusive studies, while disregarding studies that are far more   

Fox’s editorial attitude towards vaping unfortunately treats State Sen. Daniel Kagan as a spectacle. While this type of public vaping could be seen as an improvement over smoking, vaping is constantly villainized by conservative news outlets as either a gateway to smoking or health concern.     


Famously the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, Colorado is one of the most vape-friendly states. There’s no statewide vaping ban and vaping is prohibited only on school property, due to lack of FDA approval for e-cigarettes as cessation devices. All other indoor places, including bars, restaurants, state houses are exempt from the state's regulations.

Most of their vaping industry crosses over and gets conflated with the marijuana business because of the booming industry of marijuana vaping pens.