The state Senate gave initial backing to a statewide ban on smoking in public places Monday, but it exempted small neighborhood bars. The exemption covers bars that get less than 25 percent of their profits from food, but it wasn't clear how many would be affected. Opponents said the exemption won't work because it would cover many larger bars as well, and because other businesses could reorganize to take advantage of the exemption. The Senate also voted to allow smoking in casinos and at racetracks. Some Republicans criticized the bill because it has so many exclusions. Even Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, said he would not vote for the bill in its current form. Grossman said the current version probably won't have the support of business and health groups that backed the original, but he said there is time to make changes before a final vote.
- February 22, 2006: Lawmakers Approve Smoking Ban, Snuff Casino Exemption
- February 10, 2006: House Passes Statewide Smoking Ban
- January 31, 2006: Lawmakers Give Initial OK To Statewide Smoking Ban
- January 30, 2006: Lawmakers Consider Statewide Smoking Ban Again
- January 18, 2006: Lawmakers Consider Statewide Smoking Ban
- January 17, 2006: Debate Over Statewide Smoking Ban Returns To Capitol