Good try, but … |

Good try, but …


The future of a statewide smoking ban most likely will end up in the hands of voters. With the amount of exceptions placed on the bill during Monday’s approval by the state Senate, even Rep. Gary Lindstrom, D-Breckenridge, who introduced the bill to the House, said he won’t vote to approve the Senate’s version.

While it might be easy to roll your eyes and mutter, “Here we go again,” one aspect does distinguish this year’s process from 2005. Proponents have begun to understand that an economy can survive with a complete and exception-free smoking ban. The most outspoken opponents to Summit’s ban in 2004 ” mostly late-night bars ” were adept and found a way to survive a government prohibition on one of their services. More than 18 months later, the smoke-free experiment seems to be casualty-free, as well.

The bill that got initial approval Monday had three major exceptions: casinos, racetracks and businesses that get 25 percent of their profit or less from food. It’s the latter that brings the most concern.

Ultimately, it is time for Colorado to ban smoking in public spaces, without exceptions. Contributing cancer-causing agents into the air should never be allowed in a state known for clean air and environmental treasures. When technology allows, we hope automobiles and corporations some day are required to have zero emissions ” but we must start with people, first.

To do this right, the state legislature must make an honest attempt at throwing out all exemptions, because with these in tact, it becomes a “loophole” game that allows businesses to reorganize and avoid the ban.

If the exceptions riding in smoking bans continue to survive the legislative process in Colorado, then it’s time for legislators to step aside.

Let the voters take a crack at it.

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