The restaurant and bar scenes in Denver and Fort Collins are different in several ways, but one key difference rises above the rest: Denver has a haze of smoke permeating the air in most public establishments, while Fort Collins does not.
There is a marked disparity between the laws governing indoor public smoking in the two cities. Fort Collins' smoking ban was put into effect Oct. 1, 2003, banning smoking within all restaurants, bars and within a 20-foot perimeter of entrances, windows and passageways.
Boulder County, Summit County (which includes Silverthorne, Dillon, Frisco and Breckenridge), Greeley, Longmont, Pueblo and Louisville have also passed no-smoking ordinances, while Denver has not.
To combat this discrepancy and add continuity to smoking ordinances throughout the state, legislators are considering a bill that would ban smoking in most public places across the state, according to a Tuesday Denver Post article.
But this is not a statewide issue.
Local communities and municipalities all have their own characteristics and values. People from a small town in eastern Colorado see the world much differently than someone from Denver or Fort Collins. Therefore, these differences in ideals should be reflected in many of the laws that govern the area.
By making an umbrella policy to cover the whole state, lawmakers are taking away the cities' individuality. Colorado is a diverse state with a diverse population. What might be right for one city may be wrong for another. Smoking bans need to stay a city issue, not a statewide one, to keep Colorado's communities unique.