Bars support statewide smoking ban |

Bars support statewide smoking ban

Tamara Miller
NWS Smoking SM 3-17

EAGLE COUNTY – “Do it.”That’s what many local bar and restaurant owners are saying to a proposed law that would ban smoking in public places in Colorado.Garfinkel’s Restaurant and Bar owner Jesse Hamilton just wishes the ban could go nationwide.”I think any place that serves food should bEe nonsmoking, in my opinion,” he said. “Smokers should be asked to go outside.” Garfinkel’s allows smoking only after 9 p.m., when the restaurant’s kitchen closes, Hamilton said. “We serve food and we just think it’s rude,” he said.State Rep. Gary Lindstrom, who represents Eagle County, is co-sponsoring a bill that would ban smoking in workplaces, bars and restaurants statewide. The bill already has won the support of health care professionals and business leaders across the state, including the Colorado Restaurant Association. Bans notwithstanding, some local restaurants and bars have opted to go smoke-free on their own. For example, Loaded Joe’s, a coffeehouse and bar in Avon, doesn’t allow smoking and even promotes that in radio ads. Others like Garfinkel’s, and Paddy’s Restaurant and Bar, allow smoking only after 9 p.m. Summit County voters approved a countywide ban on smoking in 2003. Since the ban took effect, several bar owners have complained that it has negatively impacted their businesses.The Avon Town Council has batted around the idea, as well. Last summer, the council wrote a letter to the Eagle County Board of Commissioners urging the board to put a similar initiative in front of Eagle County voters. It never happened. A statewide ban is ideal, said Bob Doyle, owner of the Avon bar and restaurant, Bob’s Place. Otherwise, businesses that enact their own bans would lose business to those that haven’t.Doyle would like the bill to allow restaurants to have separate smoking rooms, as long as they are well ventilated and have no impact on patrons in the rest of the building. Bob’s Place only allows smoking in the bar area, not in the restaurant, he said.But the ban may have some nasty side effects, Doyle warned.”Generally what happens is people just go outside, which we don’t see now,” he said. “If you don’t like people loitering around the building, well then.”Most of his customers are in favor of it, though, he said. “Some are just hard-core smokers and they want to smoke,” he said. “Some people want to quit and they are for it.”===========================================================States with public smoking bans that include workplaces, bars and restaurants• California• Connecticut• Delaware• Maine• Massachusetts• New York• Rhode IslandStates with public smoking bans that exempt bars• Idaho• Florida• UtahSource: American Lung AssociationColorado communities that have smoking bans• Alamosa: smoke-free restaurants.• Boulder County: smoke-free restaurants, bars and workplaces.• Fort Collins: smoke-free restaurants, bars and workplaces.• Greeley: smoke-free restaurants, bars and workplaces.• Longmont: smoke-free restaurants and bars.• Louisville: smoke-free restaurants and bars.• Pueblo: smoke-free restaurants, bars and workplaces.• Snowmass: smoke-free restaurants, bars and workplaces.• Summit County: smoke-free restaurants and bars.Source: The Associated Press===========================================================Staff Writer Tamara Miller can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607, or The Summit Daily News contributed to this report.Vail, Colorado

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