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Ban the butts

Johnny Daisy of Fatty’s Pizzeria in Breckenridge put up a principled stand against the town council’s bid to ban smoking. He said it wasn’t about smoking, it was about choice.

We support a ban on smoking in public places but certainly appreciate the cry about freedom of choice. Still, we think issues about smoking and secondhand smoke overpower all else.

As we reported Wednesday, the town council directed staff to prepare an ordinance that would ban smoking in public places. We commend the decision and hope Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne follow the lead.

As with many Summit County decisions regarding all of the jurisdictions, usually about money, they always say they won’t act unless the others do – which creates a Catch-22. We hope Breckenridge’s example starts the action against smoking.

When Daisy saw the verdict he did a heroic thing. He helped derail a building sentiment to take the town’s smoking ban to a second election.

“We don’t need another vote in Breckenridge. It’s obvious Š” Daisy said, citing the 2-to-1 margin in the countywide election last November and a Breckenridge Resort Chamber survey. “Come up with an ordinance and pass it. It will be quick and efficient.”

Carol Rockne, owner of the Dredge Restaurant, one of 15 places in town that still allows smoking, threw in the kicker. She said she wants to ban smoking but fears for the loss of business. The town needs to level the playing field and ban smoking everywhere, she said.

Breckenridge Ski Resort chief operating officer Roger McCarthy said his company has banned smoking and has been successful. He suggested that outdoor smoking areas that are heated and covered be allowed.

Between the work of the county commissioners and Breckenridge, Summit County is on its way to being a healthier place.


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