Could an outdoor smoking ban be coming to the city of Golden? According to CBS local, the city is considering a ban on outdoor smoking throughout the entertainment district. This type of ban is already in place along Clear Creek. “We take a zero-tolerance to it, all along the creek, other than that, we’re just like everybody else,” said Golden’s city manager, Mike Bestor.
Right now, several restaurants and bars on Washington Street still allow outdoor smoking on their patios. However, other diners have complained to the city that the smoke is an obnoxious presence for nonsmokers who also wish to go outdoors during the summer.
“You want to be fair, but at the same time you want to be fair to the people who don’t want to breathe it in,” said Golden resident Artamis Byars, adding that she doesn’t enjoy walking through the smoke with her daughter during the summertime. Bestor has said that he ultimately wants to transform “as much of Golden as possible” into a smoke-free zone. The ban may include electronic cigarettes as well.
Not surprisingly, some people take issue with the ban, usually because they smoke, or are worried about the impact it could have on business. “I’m not a big fan of smoking but I understand why people do,” said Sandy Jameson, who does not support the ban. Golden’s city council is currently looking for resident input, and will reconsider the issue in a study session next month.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there is no “risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke,” and it causes approximately 34,000 premature deaths from heart disease each year. In a study of nine states with smoking bans, RTI International found that there was “no evidence” that smoke-free laws impact bar and restaurant revenue. The chemicals in cigarettes are known carcinogens, and smoking can impact both teeth and overall body health.
Comparatively, nearby Boulder has had a smoking ban on its popular Pearl Street since January 2013, and businesses impacted by the ban did not see any significant difference in patronage over the past year.