Smoking ordinances rated B+
SUMMIT COUNTY – The Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution (GASP) has given relatively high grades to the various smoking ban laws passed this past year in Summit County.The group gave Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Frisco and Summit County grades of B+; Dillon earned an A-. Six laws throughout the state received As – Greeley, Fort Collins, Longmont, Louisville, Pueblo and Snowmass – six received Bs, 22 received Cs, nine earned Ds and four failed.Dillon received the slightly higher grade because its ordinance prohibits smoking at its amphitheater and within 20 feet of building entrances.GASP used a 5-point system similar to the grading system used in schools. An “A” grade is worth 5 points, a “B” is worth 4 points, 3 points for a C, 2 points for a D, and 1 point for an F. GASP graded five key elements of each law and gave an “A” to each element that provides the best smoke-free protection for the public and for workers. A “C” grade was given to elements of a law if the protection was average for Colorado. An “F” was given if no protection was provided at all or it wasn’t addressed in the law.The five key elements required that workplaces be smoke-free to earn an A. Laws that say employees have to request a smoke-free workplace got a C, and laws that require employees to petition for this right got an F.Restaurants and bars must be smoke-free to get an A, laws that allow fully enclosed separately ventilated sections earned a B and laws that allow smoking and nonsmoking sections got a C.Laws that require indoor public places to be smoke-free earned an A. If the law allows smoking in 25 percent of common areas, it earned a B and those that allow it in 50 percent got a C.Retail and grocery stores must be smoke-free to get an A.”It’s not easy to grade them,” said Pete Bialick, president of GASP. “Each one is slightly different.”He said most of those that didn’t receive perfect marks were generally because of the workplace component of the law, which in many cases isn’t very strong.Laws could earn bonus points if they limit smoking in sporting arenas, at sporting events, zoos and other public venues. Additional points could be earned if a law limits smoking at the entrances to buildings and restaurant and bar patios.Summit County and all its towns except Montezuma passed legislation this year that bans smoking to ensure a healthy environment for employees. The issue was particularly contentious in Breckenridge, where a handful of bar and restaurant owners protested, saying the ban would hurt business.Jane Stebbins can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 228, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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