Senate approves statewide smoking ban for restaurants |

Senate approves statewide smoking ban for restaurants

the associated press

DENVER ” The state Senate on Thursday approved a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants, overriding the objections of some Republicans who argued that no one is being forced to work in a smoky business.

The measure (Senate Bill 207) passed on a 21-12 vote and now moves to the House.

Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, said many restaurant workers are wrongly forced to choose between their health and their jobs because of second-hand smoke.

“They can try to find work in another industry, or maybe they can’t,” Grossman said.

Grossman said at least 13 local governments already ban smoking in public places, and restaurants statewide should be competing under the same rules.

Senate Minority Leader Mark Hillman, R-Burlington, opposed the bill, saying workers are free to leave jobs in smoke-filled workplaces, and employers are free to ban smoking on their own.

The Senate bill exempts casinos and bars from the ban.

Summit County enacted a countywide smoking ban on June 1, 2004. The local law, however, did not excempt bars.

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