Summit County goes smoke free today |

Summit County goes smoke free today

Jane Stebbins

The air will be clearer starting today as smoking will be banned in all public places in Frisco, Breckenridge, Dillon, Silverthorne and unincorporated Summit County.

Summit County and its four largest towns approved ordinances this year that ban smoking in any place where the public is invited. That includes businesses, restaurants, town and county buildings and bars.

The ordinances were preceded by a countywide vote on the issue last November, in which voters approved a ban by about a 2-to-1 ratio. The county was the first to pass an ordinance, and the towns followed suit, creating a consistent policy countywide that goes into effect today.

Despite the fact the vast majority of Summit County residents don’t smoke, the issue became contentious among bar and restaurant owners, some of whom believe patrons have plenty of smoking and nonsmoking options when selecting an establishment.

The issue is far from dead in Breckenridge where Jeff Cox of Cecilia’s cigar bar is requesting an exemption from the ban for his clientele.

Smokers have spent the last few months adapting to the upcoming change by smoking outside, and restaurateurs have responded by collecting ashtrays and posting “no smoking” signs. Ashtrays will be provided outside most Breckenridge eateries and bars soon, as well.

On Wednesday, the Summit County Democrats and the representatives of SmokeFree Summit, which initiated the smoke-free workplace ordinances, will host a party at Mrs. E & Me’s at 200 S. Ridge St. in Breckenridge.

– Jane Stebbins

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