Colorado's smoking ban upheld

Colorado's smoking ban upheld
The Denver Post reported on January 29th that:

Colorado's smoking ban was upheld today by the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

A three-judge panel decided that the state's Clean Indoor Air Act did not violate the equal-protection clause of the Constitution when it provided exemptions to Denver International Airport's smoking areas.

The Coalition for Equal Rights, a group representing more than 500 independent owners of bars, bowling alleys, billiard halls, military-service clubs, trade associations and bingo parlors, filed the appeal.

The opinion was written by Judge Mary Beth Briscoe and joined by judges David Ebel and Michael Murphy.

"The district court concluded, and we agree, that the state of Colorado has offered a rational basis for its distinction between airport smoking concessions and the establishments owned, operated and or serviced by plaintiffs," the opinion says. DIA smokers "... have no options as to where they can smoke because they have no real opportunity or ability to travel to a location outside the DIA area."

The coalition also had challenged the casinos exemption to the smoking ban, but that argument is now irrelevant because Colorado casinos now fall under the ban.

Jason Dunn, who served as special assistant attorney general for the state, said he was pleased with the decision.

"Whether you love the smoking ban or hate it, there is little doubt that the court correctly refused to wade into a policy question that is the sole province of the legislature," he said.

Joel Spector, an attorney for the coalition, said he had not had a chance to go over the decision with his clients to determine what the next step could be.

"I am very disappointed by the ruling," Spector said. "I believe that restaurants and bars are private property, and private-property owners should be able to decide how to use their own property. The ruling is scary for people who value to choose what they do inside their own property."

Obviously, the courts are continuing to support the expansion of no-smoking laws.

More Stories

Get The Newsletter

Get The Newsletter

The latest multifamily industry news delivered to your inbox.