Colorado Clean Indoor Act's 3 month Milestone

By: Elyse Webb
By: Elyse Webb

Today marks the three month milestone of the Colorado Clean Indoor Act, but how is the ban effecting way of life and businesses here in the grand valley?

For non-smokers a meal out no longer means inhaling second hand smoke and leaving the restaurant with more than a full stomach.

Amanda Helms, Outback Steakhouse Employee, says "Its great to not go home smelling like smoke or having people blow it in your face."

The Colorado Clean Air Act went into effect last July, and restaurant managers and employees say, business has been booming ever since.

Butch Strasters, Outback Steakhouse Proprietor, explains, "Eighty percent of my guests ask for non–smoking. Now that I have completely non–smoking, they can sit anywhere and enjoy their meal."

Many say that before the act was passed, going out to eat wasn't always a good experience.

"You spend good money to come to a place like this and they prepare the food well, present it in an appealing way and then suddenly you can enjoy the taste of the food that you savored when you walked in has now been violated by the smell of tobacco."

Now that restaurants are smoke free, some say it isn't just the food that is better.

"Having it completely smoke free was good for health, well–being and overall moral," says Strasters.

While most restaurant managers and employees say the ban has helped business. However, those in the bar and billiards industry say that's not the case for them.

Stephen Robertson, a local bar owner, says he has experienced a twenty-five percent decrease in sales since the act was put in place.

"They go outside two or three times for a cigarette and that leads to conversation and another cigarette and then its two cigarettes. Then they come back in and you have missed a opportunity for two or three sales," explains Robertson.

Robertson also says, now that his customers have to go outside to smoke, there has been an increase in fights.

"Its caused a lot of issues in trying to control the outside. Before the people were inside so we had control over them, and now they are going outside after drinking," explains Robertson.

Whether your for or against the Smoke Free Act, the regulations are firm, and disobeying this the ban can result in some hefty fines.

The fines for not complying with the act start off at two hundred dollars for a single offense, and three hundred dollars for a second.


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