Lawmakers Consider Statewide Smoking Ban

Colorado Could Join New York, California, 10 Other States With Ban

Colorado lawmakers will begin debating a proposal for a statewide smoking ban Wednesday.

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act of 2006 would ban smoking in restaurants, bars, casinos, and most indoor workplaces and public places.

"This doesn't apply to anybody's home, anybody's car, anybody's back yard. It doesn't apply to any outdoor space whatsoever -- it's just indoors where your choice to smoke is going to be affecting other people," said State Sen. Dan Grossman, one of the sponsors of the bill.

Colorado would join 12 other states if it passes a statewide smoking ban. The states that have a smoking ban include New York and California. New Jersey passed a smoking ban this week and that ban will take effect in three months.

Last year's version of a smoking ban in Colorado was two votes short of getting approval in the state senate. Some lawmakers said they believe it has the support to become law this year.

The measure already has the support of the Colorado Restaurant Association, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers.

But that doesn't mean some business owners and smokers are happy about it.

"I think it's wrong for people try to control everything that everybody does. Pretty soon you won't be able to walk down the street to do anything," said smoker Brenda Warren.

If the bill passes, smokers will still be allowed to smoke at outdoor patios, cigar bars and the airport's smoking lounge.

Violaters would face hefty fines if caught. It would be $200 for the first offense, $300 for the second offense in the same calendar year and $500 after that.

Fourteen cities and counties in Colorado already ban smoking in workplaces, restaurants, and bars including:

  • Alamosa
  • Boulder Count
  • Breckenridge
  • Dillon
  • Eagle County
  • Fort Collins
  • Frisco
  • Greeley
  • Longmont
  • Louisville
  • Pueblo
  • Silverthorne
  • Snowmass
  • Summit County

    States with smoking bans:

  • California
  • New York
  • Delaware
  • Connecticut
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Rhode Island
  • Georgia
  • Illinios
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • New Jersey
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