Advertisement

What to expect from the smoking ban – The View From Fort Collins, Colorado

By 9 December 2005 14

In our most recent podcast we noted that we’d had a postcard from Tom, a listener in Fort Collins Colorado. KandyA noted that Fort Collins is a global leader in banning smoking in public places and we asked Tom to report on how this was working out for them.

With admirable speed Tom has replied, and I thought I’d post it for the general readership:

Hi folks,

You asked for information about Fort Collins anti-smoking laws, and so here goes. FYI, I’m a non-smoker but I hang out with a lot of smokers (and I can get pretty talkative, so this might be a long email). Hell, I was at a bar with my brother the smoker just last night. I’ts all sorts of timely.

Basically, about two years ago they made the rules so that smoking was outlawed in pretty much every public building, with some weird exceptions (the bars of bowling alleys, for instance).

Here’s the web page with details on the law:

http://www.ci.fort-collins.co.us/smoking/faq-business.php

Note that the ban is just in Fort Collins. Outside of city limits smoking is still allowed in restaraunts and bars, depending on the owners’ rules.

If Canberra is talking about such a ban, you may find that a lot of businesses are saying that a ban will hurt their bottom line. They’ll lose smoking customers, etc. In our case, it was said that a smoking ban would cause major customer loss to businesses outside of city limits.

However, if Canberra’s experience is the same as Fort Collins, that’s not the case. I read in a local newspaper (can’t find a link, sorry) that patronage of bars, restaraunts, music venues, etc, is actually rather significantly up. The ban may have driven some smokers outside the city, but their numbers were more than made up by the increased draw of other customers.

Smokers aren’t out of luck, though, because they can simply go outside and smoke — as long as they’re 20 feet from the front door or a ventilation system. Many bars have taken to drawing a line that indicates where smokers can stand.

What my smoking friends have told me about the ban and its effects on them is:

- sucks ass in the cold. Last night it was nearly -10F here (a balmy -23C), and that doesn’t count the windchill..

- when the weather is nicer, it’s actually not all that bad to be in a group of smokers. You always know where to go to bum a smoke, and you meet a lot of people you’d never associate with otherwise.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed since the ban is that you can go to a show or out to a bar and when you get home your clothes don’t smell like cigarette smoke. This is a Really Nice Thing. I’m sure you all go to music events at small venues and know what I’m talking about. Even my smoking friends like this.

My brother and I were in Washington DC a few months ago, and public smoking in bars and at concerts is something that struck us both as odd at first. After just over a year we were already totally accustomed to smoke-free places. Once the shock wore off, my brother lit up (“Look, I’m smoking inside!”). Later he admitted that he now preferred Fort Collins’ way of doing things, primarily because of the smoky-smelling clothes issue.

So that’s that. Net result is that smokers got used to it fast and see some benefits, it’s great for non-smokers (my girlfriend has
asthma and she used to hate going to bars), and businesses haven’t been hurt.

Please feel free to ask any questions. If I can’t answer it, I’m sure I can find someone who can.

Tom

Please login to post your comments
14 Responses to What to expect from the smoking ban – The View From Fort Collins, Colorado
#1
colsim10:57 am, 12 Dec 05

Have to say, I’d spend a lot more time at the Phoenix if it was smokefree. (Um, maybe that’s a good thing then :)

#2
bonfire11:28 am, 12 Dec 05

yeah i can see how making your customers go outside like lepers is a good thing. its even better when its snowing.

these laws are not related to health, they are morals driven.

smoking bad. must punish.

there is no evidence that ‘passive smoking’ injures people in any way. peopel suck in more car exhaust than ciggarette smoke.

#3
Indi1:13 pm, 12 Dec 05

…and this means that passive smoking is good for you?

check the listing of harmful elements found in the cigarettes and the case will present itself as clear in relation to harmful effects – but fair call, you may as well suck on the tailpipe of a car

#4
bonfire1:47 pm, 12 Dec 05

passive smoking is about as dangerous as standing around a bbq and going home smelling like a steak.

social engineering pseudo science.

#5
Indi2:47 pm, 12 Dec 05

So you do not believe that those unfortunate enough to work – lets say in the hospitality industry – in an environment where ‘passive smoke’ exists, have ended up with lung cancer and have it proven through the legal system that their condition was a result of passive smoking in the work environment?

#6
bonfire3:16 pm, 12 Dec 05

i believe that if i choose to place myself in an environment where smoking is an accepted part of that culture, then i have responsibility for my own actions. if i dont like that culture then i shouldnt try and get that culture changed to suit my social engineering moralistic agenda.

i should open my own venue and have whatever policy i like, so on moralising monday we can sit around plaiting our underarm hair before chowing down on tofu curry (non GM soybeans only). but dont light up man.

“unfortunate enough to work” the poor things. they can always work at wendys squirting out sugar laden softserve if they dont like smoke. can i sue them in 40 years when i die of something related to imbibing softserve icecream for 40 years ?

im yet to see exhaustive evidence relating to passive smoking. its all funded by anti-smoking bodies which makes it very suspect.

#7
Maelinar3:39 pm, 12 Dec 05

Indi, you are quite correct regarding passive smoke. That’s the reason why it’s becoming illegal to infect somebody else with your lung candy. Self inflicted – that’s all ok.

Anybody who has a problem with that seems to quite effectively have their argument cut out from under their feet as they get pushed closer and closer to the city limits, just like unwanted hobo’s, and Rambo.

My suggestion; live with it, or fight back with your trusty knife and some clothes made from some cut up hessian. Either way, the people with the guns are gonna force you out of the non-smoking territory.

#8
Thumper3:49 pm, 12 Dec 05

As a smoker I’d hate to work behind a bar and get smoke blown at me all night. Or worse still, work in a badly aired, smoky room.

On the hand, I’d hate to see smoking totally banned from clubs and pubs, I think clubs and pubs should be able to make a choice as to whether or not to go totally non smoking. The All Bar Nun is a good example, as is Tilley’s I believe.

#9
bonfire4:44 pm, 12 Dec 05

yes thumper – its all about CHOICE.

with the availability of jobs, if someone doesnt want to work in a smoky pub, they dont have to.

#10
Puggy Pearson9:02 pm, 12 Dec 05

Come and throw some of your passive smoke my way Bonfire. If someone wants to work someowhere where they won’t die because of the stupidity of others then they can as well.

Amazing what arguments smokers come up with to justify their filthy addiction

#11
johnboy9:07 pm, 12 Dec 05

Umm, bonfire?

try spending some time in an eclosed space with a running car exhaust and let us know how you get on?

Personally I wish this had been addressed as an air quality issue rather than a behavioural one.

(ie if someone can find a way to have people smoking AND keep the air clean then no-problemo.)

as it is the pseudo-open spaces we’re going to see springing up are going to be the worst of both worlds.

#12
Maelinar8:12 am, 13 Dec 05

HAHA JB, he could try putting a pipe from his car exhaust to the window and taping it shut, that’s an enclosed space.

Remember though, there’s no beating a victimised mentality, since their failsafe response is “you’re victimising me” when they finally run out of relevant information.

The simple truth is that the law recognises the health implications of passive smoke, and there’s no way of getting around that, no matter how hard you whinge.

#13
Kandy A2:13 pm, 14 Dec 05

“Last night it was nearly -10F here (a balmy-23C)”
and people here complain about the prospect of stepping outside for a smoke!

#14
Thumper8:10 am, 15 Dec 05

Kandy A,

The middle of winter in Canberra is not particularly warm, especially with a wind.

Okay, we’re not talking Washington DC -20F but minus 7 or 8 C is pretty cool.

Seriously, how hard would it be to build a room that is totally sealed and seperated from the rest of the club or pub by the way of heating and airconditioning. The smoking room or area could even have a double airlock sort of door to ensure no smoke gets out at all.

it couldn’t be that difficult could it? After all, we can put a bloody man on the moon.

I still believe that clubs and pubs should have the choice to go non smoking, smoking, or retain the status quo. I guess the problem is that none of them have the guts to simply go totally non smoking when, if they did, it may start a trend of totally non smoking clubs/ pubs.

It seems to be such an easy answer that has been made difficult by governments (who recieve vast amounts of taxes from smokes), clubs/ pubs, and lobby groups on either side of the issue.

regulation is good in some ways as it sets a bench mark. However, if society is truley against smoking in such places then the industry itself should regulate.

I think there’s a niche market out there for a non smoking club/ pub. Someone should run with it.

Follow
Follow The RiotACT
Get Premium Membership
Advertisement
The-RiotACT.com Newsletter Sign Up

Images of Canberra

Advertisement
Sponsors
RiotACT Proudly Supports
Advertisement
Copyright © 2014 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.