Golden bans outdoor smoking on downtown sidewalks

GOLDEN – If anyone knows about the impact of passing cigarette smoke, Taylor Steinmark lives it every day she comes to work.

"I am very used to it because I am working outside all the time and it is such a present thing," Steinmark said.

She is a server at the Old Capitol Grill in downtown Golden. Steinmark often works with the tables on the patio right along the sidewalk of Washington Avenue.

"When the infants are out on the patio, the moms are trying to protect them from the smoke and eat," Steinmark said. "It's kind of more of a pain than anything."

Shawnee Muncy agrees. Muncy is sitting on the patio trying to enjoy the evening. He does not welcome smoke from passersby.

"As a non-smoker, I don't like being around smoke myself," Muncy said. "I think there's a time and place for it, probably when you're by yourself and not around a crowd."

The Golden City Council voted unanimously to ban smoking on all sidewalks on and around Washington Avenue effective Jan. 1, 2015. This includes all E-cigarettes and vaporizers, too. The ban also includes all city parks, trails and public events. The Fossil Trace Golf Course and Clear Creek RV Park also under the restriction. If a person is caught smoking in these areas, it could result in a $50 fine.

"It not only takes a toll on my job, but it takes a toll on their experience here in Golden because they will always remember like, smoke coming into their face," Steinmark said.

Leslie Lethen is a smoker. She actually agrees with the new city ordinance.

"It would allow me to smoke as much, so to speak," Lethen said. "To have to go out of my way to have a cigarette would be beneficial for me."

Steinmark doesn't support the new Golden rule because it may drive away loyal customers who smoke. She says the smokers that she sees are usually considerate about the non-smokers around them.

"I respect the rights of everybody if they want to smoke and if they want to be out here doing it, then that is completely their choice," Steinmark said.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)


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