Smoking ban nearly set at fourth of six hearings
BRECKENRIDGE – Unless someone raises a new, major point, the Summit County smoking ban is nearly set in stone.
On Monday, in the fourth of six public hearings on a proposed ban on smoking in unincorporated parts of the county, county attorney Frank Celico made a few more changes, as requested by Summit County commissioners.
Public places where smoking would be banned generally include any indoor place where the public is invited or permitted, including bars and restaurants.
Exceptions include private residences, child care homes after-hours, lodging, tobacco shops and private clubs.
Commissioners removed several other proposed exceptions. Smoking will not be regulated in employee break rooms, back offices where the public is not usually invited and actors smoking on stage.
“We’re not going to say where you can smoke, just where you cannot,” Celico said.
Smokers and workers were added to the list of people that the ordinance is designed to protect, including residents, visitors and nonsmokers.
Bus stops would be the only outdoor spaces where smoking is prohibited.
Buses, gondolas, taxis and other public transit is included in the list of places where smoking would be banned.
Some Colorado cities’ smoking bans prohibit smoking near bars and restaurant doorways. Some bans also allow separate enclosed smoking sections and therefore give special rights to employees to refuse to work in smoke-filled taverns.
Summit County’s ban would not legislate smoking outdoors, in separate smoking sections or employees.
Celico must soon publish legal notices on the smoking ban law, so if major changes arise at the Jan. 19 or 26 public hearings, commissioners might not be able to vote on the ban Jan. 26 as planned.
They would just set a later date to vote if any additional changes are deemed necessary.
Town councils in Dillon, Breckenridge, Frisco and Silverthorne are watching to see how the ban in Summit County looks.
The towns must decide for themselves whether to pass similar bans, because voters countywide asked for the ban.
Plus restaurants and bars have said they want a level playing field of customers. Allowing smoking in one town but not another section of the county might be an advantage for bars or restaurants, said business owners.
The proposed smoking ban received preliminary approval from the county commissioners Monday.
Previous and updated versions of the ban proposal are available online at http://www.co.summit.co.us. The final public comment sessions are scheduled for 1:30 p.m. next Monday and on Jan. 26 at the Summit County Courthouse on Lincoln Avenue in Breckenridge.
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