March 27 2006, 4:05 PM
It's official. Gov. Bill Owens signed the no-smoking bill today. Colorado goes smoke-free on July 1.
The law prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and most workplaces. The only exemptions are for casinos, small businesses, the smoking lounge at Denver International Airport, smoke shops, family farms and cigar bars.How will it be enforced? The Rocky Mountain News reported a few weeks ago: The ban will be enforced by local governments, [Rep. Mike] May said. A business or individual who fails to comply could face a fine of $200 for the first offense, and $500 for repeat violations. Seventy-five percent of the funds will be returned to local entities to offset enforcement costs, May said. I doubt this will be the end of the crusade for no-smoking legislation. Here's a preview:
In California, people with live-in help may not smoke in their own homes. In Colorado, Sen. Dorothy Rupert wants police to ticket and fine any adult seen smoking in a car with children in it.Dave Koppel has a better idea:
Anti-smoking advocates should not attempt to use the criminal law as a substitute for persuasion. If you don't want people to smoke in their cars, try to reason with them, instead of imposing criminal fines and jail time.