Durango considers smoking ban for outdoor public areas

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DURANGO, Colo. – Smokers could soon be fined for lighting up in public outdoors if the Durango City Council passes a proposed smoking ban.

The Durango Herald reported that the ban would include public places such as bus stops, playgrounds, picnic areas and the Animas River Trail.The paper said the ban would apply to city-owned or operated property, with exceptions for Hillcrest Golf Course and outdoor religious ceremonies performed by Native Americans.

The City Council is scheduled to adopt the ordinance on Nov. 20, and the ban could go into effect as early as Dec. 5.

If passed, smokers could be fined $100 for a first offense and up to $200 to $300 for consecutive offenses in the same calendar year, according to the Herald. Proceeds would go to anti-tobacco and smoking-cessation efforts.

The ban was originally extended to apply to bar patios and restaurants; however that idea was struck down after protests from smokers and business owners in the area, according to the paper.

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