Boulder has a reputation for being clean, green, and progressive. Accordingly, it’s one popular city where you can get the sense that tobacco smoking has been almost completely eradicated. On top of this, the city’s new ordinance, which revises a 2004 ordinance together with the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, now forbids vaping in the same areas where traditional smoking is prohibited.

These restrictions of course play a role in the city staying so clean. But Boulder is also a place where some popular alternatives to smoking tobacco are accessible. Let’s take a quick look at some of those alternatives.

Legal Cannabis

While cannabis is not a direct counter to tobacco by any means, Boulder is famously something of a hotbed for it –– and many do find it to be a satisfying alternative. Our article on “Organic Cannabis” offers some insight on specific places that sell the products, and also makes clear that though organic products are usually more expensive than their non-organic counterparts, they’re also higher quality. This means that the organic weed popular throughout Boulder gives you a more satisfying high together with a better smell and taste.


CBD products are known for the benefits of calming anxiety and stress without the high that other cannabis products with more THC induce. Proponents also tout CBD’s ability to help with insomnia, epilepsy, and depression. Still, it’s important to note that studies are still underway according to the FDA, and it may be a while before we get definitive results that tell us clearly what the benefits and side effects of CBD are. In the meantime though, CBD products ranging from chocolates to root beer are available in Boulder, and give locals and visitors alike one more thing to do in lieu of smoking.

Nicotine Pouches

While the previous options are indeed smoke-free, they do not cover one of the main reasons why smokers choose cigarettes: nicotine. Over the years, there have been a few nicotine alternatives for those who wish to quit smoking, but they’ve gradually waned in popularity. Nicotine pouches, on the other hand, are gaining traction and showing signs of a market boom (in part because of ongoing masking recommendations). This is in part because of how they work, fitting subtly under the upper lip and gradually releasing nicotine (leaving you with no need to lift your mask to smoke or spit!). They are also popular because they come in pleasant flavors; coffee, cinnamon, and mint are already popular options, and Prilla suggests that others like ginger and chai could come to market before too long. And finally, pouches are also easier than a filter or vape cartridge to dispose of, adding to their convenience.

Vaping (where allowed)

What is seen after exhaling a vape hit is not smoke –– it’s vapor. However, some states, cities, and counties have begun to ban vapes for a number of reasons. Some are reacting to the fact that vaping has proven to be a popular hobby among children, while others argue that the vapor can still cause damage both to the user and those nearby. Meanwhile, smaller vape operations are finding it more difficult to stay in business, as Politico reported recently. Even with all of that noted however, vaping is another alternative option for those who live in areas where it’s not banned. It’s usually allowed at home when it’s prohibited in public areas (as is the case under Boulder’s new ordinance). Even so however, it is not considered to be a particularly healthy alternative.

Boulder is a clean, beautiful city whose residents would like it to stay that way. That makes these smoke-free alternatives perfect for those who have the same opinion.