Statewide smoking ban in workplaces not likely to burn many businesses | PostIndependent.com
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Statewide smoking ban in workplaces not likely to burn many businesses

A proposed statewide ban on smoking in Colorado public places and workplaces, including restaurants and bars, could have minimal effect on Glenwood Springs businesses.”The majority of our restaurants, and even bars, are nonsmoking. For our tourists and the clientele we are trying to attract, I think a smoking ban wouldn’t be detrimental,” said Marianne Virgili, president of the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association. “It attracts a healthier clientele and can level the playing field, making it easier for bars and establishments on the brink of going nonsmoking to do it.”Last week, Sen. Dan Grossman, D-Denver, introduced a bill proposing a statewide ban on smoking in public places and workplaces. The Colorado Restaurant Association, the Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry, and the American Lung Association of Colorado all support the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act, which would ban smoking in indoor venues starting July 1.”This is really an exciting bill for Colorado because it has the backing of health, civic and business leaders,” said ALAC senior program director Sarah Davis. “It really protects all workers in all workplaces and does not discriminate. Most of us are lucky to work in smoke-free offices.”The ALAC reported that “cigarettes contain more than 4,000 substances, and at least 43 have been designated as cancer-causing chemicals.” Many restaurants and bars, including the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Co., prefer not to expose customers and employees to carcinogens via secondhand smoke.”Since opening in 1996, the Brewpub has been nonsmoking because it’s a family establishment, and the owners did not want to subject workers to secondhand smoke,” said Becka Rush, a server and manager at the microbrewery. “It’s nice not to be around it all the time.”Davis said that just because a restaurant or bar allows smoking does not mean owners lack consideration for employees’ well-being.”The reaction of business owners has been mixed,” Davis said. “There are a lot of restaurant and bar owners who want to offer healthy workplaces for employees. This bill is so important to the tens of thousands of workers in the state.”Kim Lang, assistant manager for The Cigarette Store in Glenwood Springs, said the bill should not be a government mandate.”It really should be up to the businesses to decide,” she said. “Keep it out of government hands. They passed a similar bill in California, and it hurt a lot of businesses. It definitely wouldn’t help our smoker-friendly policy.”Virgili said she anticipates the bill’s passing in Colorado, not only for the positive economic impact on Glenwood Springs, but on a personal level.”I enjoy a nonsmoking atmosphere,” she said.Contact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext. 518aclark@postindependent.com


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