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Boulder’s Smoking Ban Brings Mixed Reactions

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A "no smoking" sign on the Pearl Street Mall (credit: CBS)

A “no smoking” sign on the Pearl Street Mall (credit: CBS)

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BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – One of Colorado’s most popular outdoor malls is about to go smoke free. On Monday the city of Boulder will ban smoking on the Pearl Street Mall.

The ordinance was supposed to go into effect in January, but signage to make the public aware of the ban didn’t get to the city in time. But come Monday there will be no tolerance from Boulder police for smoking. The ban has brought mixed reaction from the public.

“I think that it’s your personal freedom and it’s a victimless crime,” one mall patron said. “Indoors, I can understand, but outdoors, that’s a little too much.”

The first two offenses can draw a $500 fine. A third offense within two years of the first two offenses goes up to $1,000 and the possibility of 90 days in jail.

“I am outside, but I do understand that this is still technically a mall, and I also know that there are tons of other people around me; that not everyone is going to be a smoker,” another mall patron said.

“We should have the right to be able to smoke if we so choose to,” another said.

The ordinance affects the entire pedestrian area of the mall and the lawn in front of the county courthouse. Smokers say it’s unlikely to keep them from lighting up.

“I think we live in a society that is way too enamored with this idea of controlling absolutely everything,” another mall patron said.

Boulder City Council passed the ordinance in December, but it has been so well received by businesses that they will actually celebrate the ban with an event on the mall.

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