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.

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