Dillon takes wait-and-see approach on smoking ban
DILLON – Mayor Barbara Davis supports a smoking ban in town, and her fellow council members say they want to keep it simple. But they’re not voting yet.
The Dillon Town Council decided Tuesday night to consider the Summit Board of County Commissioners’ ban when it is drafted. The BOCC will likely vote on the proposed smoking ban the afternoon of Jan. 26.
In Dillon, a frank discussion livened up the public comment session.
“They say smoking is adverse to your health. They also say that being fat, like me, is adverse to your health. Do you guys plan to ban fast food joints next?” said Councilmember Mike Smith.
“I’d say we’re taking one step at a time,” said Carol Bosserman, a Dillon resident.
“That’s what I’m afraid of. Where do business owners’ rights come in? I sell cigarettes at my liquor store, and next thing you know it’ll be prohibition all over again,” Smith said. “When are we infringing on other people’s rights here?”
“It’s a long jump to go down that road. We’re not banning the sale of cigarettes, just smoking in enclosed public places,” Bosserman said. “I can’t stand it when my clothes reek of cigarette smoke after visiting a local restaurant.”
Denham Ward, whose family runs Complete Family Eyecare in Dillon Ridge, jumped up to the podium to try to address Smith’s concerns.
“Comparing smoking to a Big Mac is not a parallel comparison. This smoking ban is more like drunken driving,” Ward said. “It’s your right to drink as much as you want, but when you get on the road and start driving around, you’re threatening my life and my friends and family. It’s your right to smoke, just don’t do it around me.
“As long as you don’t infringe on my longevity, I don’t care what you do,” he added.
Smith said he understood. He still wasn’t convinced he’d vote for the ban next month.
The Dillon Town Council has hashed out the smoking ban issue several times since Summit County voters on Nov. 4 passed the measure that asked county commissioners to enact a smoking ban in enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants, in unincorporated Summit County.
Towns must make up their own minds whether to ban smoking in public places.
A dozen SmokeFree Summit proponents, who initiated the voter-approved request for a ban of smoking in public places, advised the council Tuesday. They said they’d return to Dillon Town Hall in February when the council officially reviews a smoking ban proposal.
The Dillon council wants the simplest ban possible.
“It’s ludicrous. Some of these ban proposals even define what smoking is. You’re either smoking or you’re not,” Smith said.
But as county commissioners will say, the devil is in the details. They plan to vote Jan. 26 after hosting six public hearings on the issue.
The proposed ban for unincorporated areas such as Keystone, Copper and Summit Cove would not allow enclosed smoking sections, such as the ones Boulder bars and restaurants have built.
The proposed ban is silent, however, on smoking outside of public places.
The Dillon Town Council will wait to see what the county’s ban looks like. The ban in unincorporated areas of Summit County would not go into effect until June.
The council voted in December not to put its ban to a vote of the people. The people already voted for a ban, council members said.
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