Fort Collins considers outdoor smoking ban for bar and restaurant patios

More Colorado cities enacting outdoor smoking bans

FORT COLLINS, Colo. - The city of Fort Collins is considering an outdoor smoking ban for bar and restaurant patios, part of a larger statewide trend to restrict smoking in outdoor areas.

"I think it's a great idea," said Laura Lyznicki, who works in Old Town Fort Collins and is sick of the smoke.

"People tend to throw their butts on the ground, too. A ban might be a little inconvenient at first, but I think people will appreciate it after a while," she said.

Fort Collins is the latest in a growing list of Colorado cities looking to snuff outdoor smoking.
 
"Colorado is seeing a great trend towards expanding their local indoor smoke-free laws and ordinances to include outdoor areas," said Char Day with Americans for NonSmokers' Rights.
 
In Durango, city leaders banned outdoor smoking at city parks, playgrounds and trails last month. Boulder recently restricted outdoor smoking on parts of the Pearl Street Mall.
 
Fort Collins isn't the first Colorado city to consider a smoking ban on bar and restaurant patios. At least eight cities, including Avon, Arvada and Edgewater already have similar bans in place, according to Americans for NonSmokers' Rights.
 
And other cities, such as Wheat Ridge, Boulder and Durango, are considering stronger outdoor smoking restrictions, according to state health officials.
 
In Fort Collins, code enforcement officers said they have taken dozens of complaints about people smoking on public patios in recent years.
 
"I think people just feel like they're still impacted from the second-hand smoke," said Polly Lauridsen, the city's code compliance supervisor.  "They want to feel they can enjoy a meal or a drink outside, especially in Fort Collins' really vibrant downtown, without thinking about the health affects."