DENVER – If you’re one of the thousands of people around Denver who enjoys a smoke, you could soon be banned from doing it around the 16th St. Mall.
Arguing that a ban on smoking along the mall will protect public health and improve quality of life for residents and tourists alike, Denver City Council President Albus Brooks introduced an ordinance that city leaders will vote on next month.
Titled the “Breathe Easy Campaign on the 16th Street Mall,” Brooks also argued that the ordinance would help those trying to quit and would send a message to children and youth that “smoking is not acceptable behavior or a norm in the community.”
But the ordinance doesn’t stop with cigarette smoking – Brooks also wants to ban vapes and e-cigarettes.
He said in a memo submitted to the council for consideration that including e-cigarettes in the ordinance was essential, as their use was re-normalizing the act of smoking in public places, and argued that “there is an increasing use of such devices for consuming marijuana,” making the enforcement of the city’s ban on public pot smoking difficult.
Violating the proposed ordinance would result in a $100 fine from the city.
Currently, Denver prohibits smoking around city buildings and hospitals. And in 2006, the state of Colorado passed the Colorado Indoor Air Act, which bans smoking in indoors areas and requires a space of at least 15 feet away from entryways for smoking to be allowed in public spaces. Violating this ordinance could cost up to $500.
The distance requirement from entryways in Denver is 25 feet, according to the memo.
The ordinance will be voted by a committee on October 11 and could go to city council by the end of that month.
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