Colorado group proposes ban to prevent sale of smartphones to children

DENVER — A group is pushing for a proposed state ballot initiative that would ban the sale of smartphones to children under the age of 13 and even to parents who would be trying to purchase a smartphone for a child.

Parents Against Underage Smartphones, or PAUS, is the nonprofit leading the charge, according to The Coloradoan.

Tim Farnum, a Denver anesthesiologist who is heading PAUS, said he started this push after watching the psychological effects of constantly using a smartphone on his own kids. The proposal, which had its language approved by the Secretary of State, would require retailers to file documentation with the government saying they had inquired as to who the smartphone sold was intended for. It would also fine those that repeatedly sold smartphones intended for young children.

The proposal is still far from being on the ballot: Next, PAUS must collect the 300,000 signatures it needs to be on the ballot in November 2018. But already, the idea is facing roadblocks, with critics saying that the sale of smartphones to children should remain a family matter, without involving government.