Golden Downtown Smoking Ban Goes Into Effect

GOLDEN, Colo. (CBS4) – Starting Thursday, smokers in Golden needed to avoid the city’s downtown if they wanted to light up.

The ban also includes vaping and electronic cigarettes. Golden said it will issue a warning for the first offense, while a second offense carries a $50 fine.

“It’s part of our health initiatives for our community,” Mayor Pro Tem Joe Behm said Thursday. “We heard from a lot of our residents who said, ‘We don’t want smoking all over the place.’ So here we are.”

The ban largely affects Washington Avenue between 10th and 14th streets and some other surrounding public spaces.

The city enacted to ordinance to make Golden a friendly destination and to help extinguish complaints that smokers disturb patio patrons at restaurants.

With a growing list of municipalities clamping down on all kinds of smoking in public, sellers of e-cigarettes and vapor pens aren’t worried — at least not yet.

“People will still be able to vape in their car,” vapor and e-cigarette seller Blair Roberts said Thursday. “They’ll still be able to use their electronic cigarette as they drive or at their home and so forth.”

Smokers light up in Golden on Thursday. (credit: CBS)

Smokers light up in Golden on Thursday. (credit: CBS)

Signs in Golden alert smokers -- of many varieties -- to the new law. (credit: CBS)

Signs in Golden alert smokers — of many varieties — to the new law. (credit: CBS)

Roberts said his products, like e-cigarettes, are healthier: “Electronic cigarettes do not have the carcinogens, which can cause cancer. They do not have the second-hand smoke.”

But while the odor and smoke from vapor pens is minimal, the devices are still included in the ban.

“We don’t know what people are doing with that and that’s kind of the unknown quality, so we included it,” Behm said.

Roberts said he understood the ordinance and that the city wants to make the law uniform.

Greeley, the next Colorado city to consider a ban on electronic smoking, will take up the issue at a city council meeting on Tuesday.

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