March 28, 2006

Colorado Joins Other States In Banning Smoking

The nanny-state creep has now overtaken Colorado, which joined the 12 other states in banning smoking indoors:
DENVER -- That's it. The last hurdle for getting the smoking ban into law has now been passed.

On Monday, Gov. Bill Owens signed legislation making Colorado the 13th state to enact a statewide smoking ban. The law takes effect July 1.

House Bill 1175, sponsored by Rep. Mike May (R-Parker) and Sen. Dan Grossman (D-Denver), prohibits smoking in bars, restaurants and most workplaces. The ban excludes casinos, cigar bars and the smoking lounge at Denver International Airport.

Casinos will be allowed to have smoking only in their gambling areas -- not their bars and restaurants.
A lame-duck Republican governor and a Republican co-sponsored bill spelled the death-knell for private enterprise choice in offering smoking areas to their patrons. Many have pointed out that the argument that a ban on smoking would hurt businesses is untrue, and that those establishments actually became more successful. So why not encourage businesses to ban smoking of their own accord, rather than legislating what each proprietor must do? Don't like smoking? Don't offer it to your customers, and don't frequent a place that offers it if you are a consumer. Instead, the government presumes to know what is best--like prohibition, except this seems doubtful to be overturned. What's next, taxing food deemed "unhealthy"--a "McTax?" Well, not so long ago it would have been beyond implausible to ever think that smoking would ever be banned in public either. . .

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