Group wants tween smartphone sales banned in Colorado

Denver, Colo. (KCNC/CNN Newsource) – When skating or scootering at Denver’s skate park, kids are texting, talking, or taking pictures. They couldn’t imagine life without a smartphone.

Now, voters in Colorado may decide on whether selling smartphones to kids under 13 should be illegal.

To doctor Timothy Farnum and two other doctors started a group called PAUS, or Parents Against Underage Smartphones.

Dr. Farnum said, “We see this in the same light as maybe alcohol or cigarettes.”

Farnum is the father of five. He sees kids constantly on smartphones as addiction to an electric pacifier.

“The kids aren’t playing out there anymore,” said Dr. Farnum. “There are certain critical stages of development that are not happening.”

So PAUS is gathering signatures to get an initiative on the 2018 ballot that would prohibit the sale of smartphones to children under 13.

New mom Alisha Wilkins is curious, saying, “”I think that that’s not a bad idea.”

But others at “The Mama‘hood” in Lohi say “no” to the initiative.

Molly Mills has 3 daughters. She said, “I don’t disagree with the fact that it can be dangerous in the wrong hands but I think that we need to teach responsibility.”

11-year-old Ethan Farnum understands his father’s concern. But he says his phone was stolen. Now he won’t get another until he turns 13.

The ballot initiative, if approved, would fine retailers who sell smartphones to those under 13 after being warned.

Fines could reach up to $20,000.

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