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For all media inquiries, please contact Sarah Mauch at smauch@broomfield.org or by phone at 720.887.2217. Your request will be answered promptly. 


January 1, 2020: Broomfield is now Smoke-free and Vape-free

Broomfield: Concerned for the health of Broomfield youth, Broomfield City Council recently passed two ordinances to address youth vaping. The first ordinance, effective January 1, 2020, restricts e-cigarette use in public places, to protect residents from secondhand aerosol and to counter the belief that vaping is safe and socially acceptable for young people. The second ordinance, effective May 1, 2020, will require tobacco retailers to be licensed and will make it more difficult for youth to purchase electronic smoking devices by raising the minimum sale age to 21. 

Effective January 1, 2020, the use of electronic smoking devices and other tobacco products will be prohibited in outdoor areas such as playgrounds, public parks and open space, sporting venues, transit waiting areas, outdoor dining and bar areas, and within 25 feet of entryways. 

City and County of Broomfield staff are taking steps to inform the public of the law by installing new signs in highly visible locations such as park entrances, and providing restaurants with signs and “Oops cards” for those who may not be familiar with the new law. The  Public Health and Environment website has resources for businesses and responses to frequently asked questions.  

Broomfield joins over 500 jurisdictions nationwide that have similar laws in place that prohibit smoking and vaping in certain indoor and outdoor public areas. The implementation of Ordinance No. 2104 updates Broomfield municipal code to mirror state law, and expands the existing smoke-free ordinance to include the use of electronic smoking devices to the definition of smoke and smoking. 

“These efforts will prevent our youth from becoming the next generation of smokers and will protect our residents from the dangers of secondhand smoke and vapor exposure,” said Public Health Director Jason Vahling. “A comprehensive approach to educating Broomfielders about the new law will help ensure compliance.” 

The second ordinance passed by City Council related to smoking and vaping is Ordinance No. 2105. It requires any retailers selling tobacco/vape products in Broomfield to apply for a license and pay a licensing fee. It also raises the minimum legal sales age from 18 to 21 years. This ordinance goes into effect on May 1, 2020. 

 More information can be found on our website using the links below:

October 28, 2019: Broomfield City Council Takes Action to Curb Youth Vaping 

BROOMFIELD:  Concerned for the health of Broomfield youth, on October 22, 2019, Broomfield City Council passed two ordinances to address youth vaping.  The first restricts e-cigarette use in public places, to protect bystanders from secondhand aerosol and to counter the belief that vaping is safe and socially acceptable for young people.  The second ordinance makes it more difficult for young people to purchase electronic smoking devices by raising the minimum sale age to 21 and licensing tobacco retailers.

Broomfield youth have some of the highest rates of e-cigarette use (e.g. vapes, JUULs, mods) in the state and in the entire country.  Thirty-six percent of high school students in Broomfield and Boulder Counties use e-cigarettes, and almost half (49%) have tried e-cigarettes.  At a study session in August, several Broomfield teens spoke to City Council about how common vaping is among their peers, and how easy it is to get vape products.

Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine—a highly addictive substance that can harm the developing adolescent brain. Nicotine exposure during adolescence can affect learning, memory, and attention. Vaping contains more than just harmless water vapor.  The aerosol contains other harmful substances, including heavy metals, volatile organic compounds, and ultrafine particles that can be absorbed by the user and bystanders. Colorado is one of multiple states investigating an outbreak of severe lung illness associated with vaping.

Ordinance No. 2104 expands the existing smoke-free ordinance to include use of electronic smoking devices in the definition of smoke or smoking.  It also updates the Broomfield municipal code to mirror state law, and adds specified outdoor areas such as public parks and open space, sporting venues, transit waiting areas, and outdoor dining and bar areas to the list of public places where smoking—and now vaping—are prohibited.  This ordinance goes into effect January 1, 2020.  

Ordinance No. 2105 requires any retailers selling tobacco/vape products in Broomfield to apply for a license and pay a licensing fee. There would be penalties for retailers that violate the law by selling to minors, including fines and the risk of losing their license to sell tobacco/vape products. It also raises the minimum legal sales age from 18 to 21 years.  This ordinance goes into effect May 1, 2020. 

“These actions by City Council, together with continuing education efforts from Broomfield Public Health and Environment, will have a significant impact on the health of Broomfield’s young people,” said Public Health Director Jason Vahling.  For further information about the ordinances or about vaping, visit www.broomfield.org/vapefacts or call Broomfield Public Health and Environment at 720-887-2200.


September 13, 2019:  Colorado reports first death in Hepatitis A outbreak

Information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment 

Shannon Barbare, Communications Specialist, 303-692-2036, shannon.barbare@state.co.us

DENVER - A Denver resident is the first person to die in the Colorado hepatitis A outbreak that began nearly one year ago. The person had risk factors consistent with those experienced by others in this outbreak. 

Since Oct. 2018, 163 cases of hepatitis A have been reported in Colorado. People affected by this outbreak may have less access to preventive health care, poorer nutrition, crowded living conditions, and greater health risks. That includes people experiencing homelessness, substance use issues, and incarceration, and contacts of people with those risk factors. The risks to other populations in this outbreak is low.

"Deaths from hepatitis A are rare, but they can occur, especially when people who have other medical conditions get the disease," said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state communicable disease epidemiologist. "This unfortunate death reminds us that the critical work our local public health agencies have been doing to vaccinate at-risk populations must continue. This outbreak is not over."

Public health has vaccinated more than 8,000 at-risk individuals in Colorado since the outbreak began in October 2018, in addition to educating people, partners, and providers about the illness and how to prevent it.

Hepatitis A is a highly contagious virus that infects the liver and can cause liver disease lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting months. Rarely, it can cause death. It is easily prevented with a safe, effective vaccine. 

Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food, or drinks that are contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person. It also can spread through close personal contact with an infected person such as through sex, caring for someone who is ill, or sharing drugs or drug equipment with someone who may be ill.  

The majoriTy of cases in this outbreak have occurred in El Paso County, but cases also have occurred in Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Fremont, Jefferson and Pueblo counties. The number of cases in the Denver metro area has been increasing since July. Information is updated weekly in the state health department’s Hepatitis A Outbreak Report.

Hepatitis A vaccine is available at doctor’s offices and many retail pharmacies. People can check vaccinefinder.org to find a retail location. People who need help paying for vaccinations should contact their local public health department (Broomfield Public Health and Environment at 720-887-2220).

To learn more about symptoms, prevention, and vaccination recommendations, visit the department’s hepatitis A web page. People who have general questions about hepatitis A can call CO-Help at 303-389-1687 or 1-877-462-2911, or by email at COHELP@RMPDC.org, for answers in English and Spanish.


August 13, 2019:  One confirmed case, one suspected case of sudden and severe lung illness tied to vaping 

DENVER: There is one confirmed case, and one suspected case of sudden and severe lung illness tied to vaping in Colorado. The initial case was reported Tuesday, Aug. 20, and confirmed today. The second case was reported today, Thursday, Aug. 22, and it has not been confirmed. At least one person has been hospitalized. 

As of Aug. 19, there have been 120 suspected cases reported in 15 states. Many of the affected people have been hospitalized. All reported vaping liquids or oils that contained either nicotine, marijuana, CBD, synthetic marijuana, or a combination of these. 

"This is a serious situation, and people who vape should be on high alert, as should medical providers treating patients who vape," said Dr. Tista Ghosh, chief medical officer at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). "Since the department has been actively notifying providers and hospitals of the symptoms, we expect we may get more reported cases."

Colorado has an unusually high rate of teen and young adult nicotine vaping. Colorado clinicians, school-based health centers, campus health centers, parents, and people who vape should be aware that this outbreak is occurring and be on the lookout for symptoms. 

 Symptoms include: 

  • Shortness of breath or trouble breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Possible fever

 People who vape and currently have a lung illness or may have had one in the past three months should contact their doctor or local health department. 

Vaping products contain more than just harmless water vapor. The agents causing this illness could possibly be pesticide contamination, residual solvent contamination, additives with unknown inhalation effects, or heavy metals contamination inhaled from vaping products. 

Health care providers, school based health centers, and campus health centers should:

  •  Screen all youth, parents, and caregivers for e-cigarette use and exposure.
  • Counsel children and adolescents about the harms of e-cigarette use and clearly communicate the importance of never using e-cigarettes or other nicotine products.
  • Report suspected cases to CDPHE’s Disease Reporting Line: 303-692-2700 or 303-370-9395 (after hours). This includes potential cases who presented since June 1, 2019. CDPHE personnel will conduct a medical record review and contact the patients to administer a thorough investigation questionnaire. 

Parents should: 

  • Talk with your kids about the risks of using e-cigarettes. Get the facts for your conversations at www.broomfield.org/vapefacts.
  • Set a smoke- and vapor-free rule for your home and car.
  • Be aware that although vapor products may have the potential to benefit adult smokers who switch completely from cigarettes to vapor products, they are not safe for teens to use. Parents who choose to quit vaping or using any other tobacco product can access free support through the Colorado QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or coquitline.org

 Youth and young adults who vape should:  

  • Be aware that this illness is occuring and be on the lookout for symptoms.
  • If you have symptoms of lung illness or may have had symptoms in the past three months, contact your doctor or local health department.
  • Learn more about free resources available to help you quit all tobacco products at coquitline.org or 1800-QUITNOW.

May 14, 2019: Traveling? Check measles vaccination or immunity status

Information from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment

Shannon Barbare, Communications Manager, 303-692-2036, shannon.barbare@state.co.us

For immediate release: May 14, 2019

INFORMACIÓN SEGUIDA EN ESPAÑOL

Denver: The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment advises people who are traveling abroad, or to areas in the U.S. with ongoing measles outbreaks, to ensure they are protected against this highly contagious illness. With measles outbreaks across the country, it’s a good idea to check vaccination records to ensure protection.

"It’s essential to know your vaccination or immunity status if you are planning to travel to areas where measles outbreaks have been reported," said Dr. Rachel Herlihy, state communicable disease epidemiologist. "Measles, once considered eliminated in the U.S., has made a comeback. As you make your plans for travel, ensure checking vaccination records is on your list. We encourage everyone, regardless of travel, to be up to date on all recommended vaccines." 

Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is available at doctor’s offices and many retail pharmacies. People can check vaccinefinder.org to find a retail location. People who need help paying for vaccinations should contact their local public health department.

Vaccination recommendations

  • Children should get two doses of measles-containing vaccine (either MMR or measles-mumps-rubella-varicella [MMRV]), one at 12-15 months and a second at 4-6 years. While two doses of vaccine is highly effective in preventing disease, the measles virus is extremely contagious. Every year, in every community, 92-95 percent vaccination coverage with two doses of vaccine is needed to prevent outbreaks.
    • Infants 6-11 months of age should receive one dose of MMR prior to traveling abroad. One dose of MMR also may be considered for infants traveling to certain areas in the U.S. with ongoing measles outbreaks.
    • Children traveling abroad or to an outbreak area who are over 12 months of age can get their second dose of MMR early (rather than wait until 4-6 years) as long as it has been four weeks since the previous dose.
  • Adults who received at least one dose of MMR on or after their first birthday should be protected against measles, but people in certain high-risk groups such as health care professionals, students at colleges and universities, and those who plan to travel internationally should have two doses or other evidence of measles immunity.
    • People ages 12 months and older who don’t have evidence of measles immunity (defined as birth before 1957, a history of having measles in the past, or a blood test that shows immunity) should have two doses (at least one month apart) of MMR or MMRV prior to traveling abroad.
  • For people with compromised immune systems, all members of their family and other close contacts who are 12 months of age or older should receive two doses of MMR vaccine unless they have other evidence of measles immunity.
  • A previous measles vaccine, which was available from 1963 to 1967, was not as effective as the current measles vaccine, so people who were vaccinated prior to 1968 may need to be revaccinated with at least one dose of MMR.

Measles immunity

  • People born before 1957 are likely to have had vaccine-preventable diseases during childhood and therefore are presumed to be protected against measles, mumps and rubella. However, people born before 1957 who belong to certain high-risk groups, including health care personnel, may need additional MMR vaccine or other proof of immunity.
  • If you’re unsure whether you were vaccinated or are immune to measles, you can get a blood test to find out. Talk to your health care provider about whether this is something you should do.

Measles symptoms and complications

The early symptoms of measles are fever; runny nose; cough; and red, watery eyes. Usually, one to four days after the early symptoms, a red rash appears on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. People with measles can spread the disease from four days before the rash appears until four days after it goes away. 

If you are sick with these symptoms, contact a health care provider as soon as possible. Call the doctor’s office and tell them about your symptoms. To protect others, do not go inside a doctor’s office, urgent care or hospital unless instructed by your doctor.

Measles is not a mild illness. It can be serious in all age groups, but complications are most common in children under age 5 and adults over age 20. Complications can include hospitalization and pneumonia. Encephalitis can occur in one of 1,000 cases, and death in 1-2 of 1,000 cases. Before the vaccine was widely available, 450-500 measles deaths occurred each year in the U.S.

More information

The CDC has travel notices for people traveling abroad. To find out where outbreaks (three or more cases) are occurring in the U.S., visit the CDC measles outbreak web page.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Immunizations and Communicable Disease branches work to increase vaccination rates and stop the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases in Colorado. The Immunization Branch focuses on improving access to vaccinations through its Vaccines for Children Program. Learn more at our measles and immunizations web pages.

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Measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine is available at doctor’s offices and many retail pharmacies. People can check vaccinefinder.org to find a retail location. People who need help paying for vaccinations should contact Broomfield Public Health Immunization Clinic at 720.887.2220.


January 2, 2019: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are on the rise across Colorado

A recent report by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment found that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis rates have increased throughout Colorado. Untreated STIs increase a person’s risk of health complications.