Proposed smoking ban on 16th Street Mall gets initial OK from Denver City Council

DENVER — A proposal to ban smoking on the 16th Street Mall moved a step closer to becoming law on Monday night.

The “Breathe Easy” campaign was given preliminary approval by members of the Denver City Council during a meeting.

The ordinance would ban cigarettes, cigars and electronic smoking devices within 50 feet of the pedestrian mall between Broadway and Chestnut Place.

It also would make it easier to reduce marijuana use on the mall that is already banned in public spaces.

Sponsors of the ordinance claim 45 cities in the country have similar smoking bans already in place.

The proposal has a lot of support from business and property owners, and public health advocates.

Some members of the city council expressed concerns that the ban would target homeless people who are more likely to smoke.

There are 40,000 to 80,000 people on the mall each day. If caught smoking, the ordinance calls for a $100 fine.

A final vote is set for Oct. 30.