Golden considers expanding cigarette smoking ban

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GOLDEN, Colo. -- The City of Golden is looking to extinguish smoking from its more popular places, adding to a cigarette and e-cigarette ban that's already in place along Clear Creek.

City Manager Mike Bestor said, "We take a zero-tolerance to it, all along the creek, other than that, we're just like everybody else."

The Golden City Council is looking to expand the ban, possibly adding all parks and trails, as well as the main corridor along Washington Avenue. "We have lots of outdoor dining. It just doesn't gel to have smoking right next to outdoor dining," Bestor added.

Artamis Byars, a Golden resident, likes the idea of banning smoking along Washington Avenue. "I think it's a good thing," she said.

She says the streets can get crowded in the summertime and doesn't enjoy having to walk through the smoke with her daughter. But, she also said she thinks the rules have to be fair. "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. But, you want to be fair and you don't want to push them all the way out of town."

Sandy Jamesen is against the ban, even though he used to smoke for 33 years. "I used to smoke, but I quit in 1999," he said. "I'm not a big fan of smoking but I understand why people do."

Jamesen says imposing a fine for smoking won't work. "You're not going to legislate to have people quit."

Bestor, however, is looking at big changes. He said he wants "to transform as much of Golden as possible as a smoke-free zone."

The City Council will take up the issue again at a study session in July. They are looking for input from residents.


  • Reid

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  • michaeljmcfadden

    Sam, e-cigs are included because they LOOK like smoking and interfere with the endgame of denormalizing and getting rid of smokers altogether. Put simply, there simply is NO justification for outdoor bans from a scientific and health standpoint. There has never yet been a study showing ANY degree of harm to people’s health from the levels and durations of smoke that would normally be encountered outdoors or even in any well-ventilated indoor area. The EPA Report, usually considered by Antismokers to be the “Gold Standard” on which to base their claims, actually claims simply that a lifetime of daily exposure in the poorly ventilated and extremely smoky workplaces of the 1940s through 1980s increases the base lifetime risk of nonsmokers’ lung cancer by 19%, i.e. one cancer in every thousand workers: one extra cancer for every 40,000 worker-years of such concentrated, daily, 8-hours exposures.

    And people are talking about risks from OUTDOOR wisps of smoke? Do you have any idea just how crazy that actually is? It’s sort of like worrying about getting skin cancer from moonlight.

    If anyone disagrees with my statement about the lack of actual scientific evidence showing real harms from inter-apartment or outdoor wisps of smoke, please feel free to post the appropriate studies here for everyone to see. NOTE: I said “studies” that show such harm: *NOT* generalized conclusions from reports, or “factsheets” from advocacy groups, or statements on web-pages: studies.

    Meanwhile, I also invite any specific, substantive attacks on “The Lies Behind The Smoking Bans” that you’re welcome to read at

    I promise I won’t mind, and I’ll try to stop back to respond.

    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of “Dissecting Antismokers’ Brains”

  • Carl

    This is just another example of the Californication of Colorado. These people move to Golden from somewhere because it’s “quaint” and, most likely, because they can’t afford Boulder, and then they start trying to legislate everything they don’t like out of existence by creating a mini nanny state. Then normal people stop patronizing the businesses and the downtown turns into a tourist trap. It’s not about smoking. It’s about controlling people.

    • COMotoRider

      I think you are part right and part wrong (or willfully ignorant). People don’t like breathing in side-stream and secondhand smoke. It is about controlling people from part of the group looking to ban, I have no doubt about that. There is also nothing worse than waiting in line and having the guy in front of you chain smoking with no regard for people around them. A large group of the people for this ban don’t want to indulge in other peoples vise.

      Common courtesy is no longer common. In a democracy people have a right to legislate, but that doesn’t make it right. Both sides of this argument feel entitled and neither side is completely right.

  • Sam

    “here is also nothing worse than waiting in line and having the guy in front of you chain smoking with no regard for people around them.” That is the point to the ban. But with eCigs, there is no smoke. And if they happen to look like a real cigarette, well that is ridiculous reasoning on their part. Just create more laws, more bans and you instantly create more criminals. Lets just give everyone a ticket for breathing.

  • Anonymous

    What I find even worse than waiting behind a smoker in line is waiting in line behind parents that can’t or don’t control their children. Maybe we can legislate a “quiet zone”, that is enforced as a kid free zone, I would spend all my money there.

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