Young people are pictured on their smartphone devices, ignoring those around them. A Colorado group is trying to get an initiative on next year’s ballot that would criminalize selling a smartphone to anyone under 13. 
Photo: Ian Gavan
Photo: Ian Gavan

Smartphone sales to pre-teens illegal under proposed CO ballot initiative

Selling a smart phone to a pre-teen could become illegal under a ballot initiative in Colorado.

The group Parents Against Underage Smartphones, PAUS, has started a petition to get Initiative 29 on the 2018 ballot.

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We are ”against the destructive force of continuous internet use on our children,” the group said on its website.

“We are willing to stand up and say collectively what you all know in your hearts - this nightmare must end, NOW! Before any more of our young are destroyed. Children do not need smartphones!! Period. End of story.” 

The proposed ballot initiative would prevent smartphone sales to anyone under 13, and it only applies to smartphones, not cell phones with voice, GPS, and texting capabilities, according to PAUS.

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The group cites recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatricians that suggest smartphone use by children can be detrimental, and equates smartphone use by children with underage drinking.

“We see this issue in the same light as alcohol. It is a parents right to give a child a small glass of wine with dinner, but it is not acceptable to have children walk into liquor stores and purchase alcohol, nor is it acceptable for parents to get their children drunk,” PAUS said on its website.

The group needs to collect 300,000 signatures to put the issue before Colorado voters next year.