Tough no-smoking law passed by Eagle County |

Tough no-smoking law passed by Eagle County

SCOTT N. MILLEReagle county correspondent

EAGLE – The countdown to the Eagle County snuff-out has begun.When the Eagle County Commissioners voted 3-0 Tuesday to impose a strict smoking ban, a 60-day countdown began to the day it takes effect. As of March 11 (give or take a day or two, since that date is a Saturday), the places in Eagle County that now allow smoking will have to pull up the ashtrays.The commissioners last year asked voters for permission to pass a smoking ban after Avon town officials and a group of local high school student asked for a ballot issue. That ballot question passed with more than 72 percent of the vote. County officials got to work on creating the law right after the election.The law that the commissioners approved Tuesday was called one of the toughest in the nation by Jennifer Corrigan of the Colorado Tobacco Education and Prevention Alliance. “Including lift lines and ski lifts is unique as far as I know,” Corrigan said.But the ban on outdoor smoking – within 25 feet of restaurant patios, skate parks and other areas – drew some criticism from a local restaurant owner.”We have foreign guests who smoke who we’re alienating totally,” said Jeff Forbes, owner of the Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek. “People should be able to go outside.”Eventually, Forbes said, some people may stop coming to the valley.Commissioner Tom Stone disagreed. Outdoor smoking was part of the ban Stone said he wrestled with.”I finally decided in my mind this was the right way to go,” Stone said. “I like being outside, and that’s where smokers have been pushed. That forces me inside when I’d rather be outside.”I think it will be OK,” Stone added. “People will learn to live with it.”

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