Colorado's Casino Towns Gamble on Loose Interpretation of Smoking Ban

Smoking in Colorado's casinos due to end Jan. 1As Colorado prepares to extend its state law eliminating secondhand smoke in workplaces to include casinos as of January 1, 2008, the state's mountain gambling towns have been hard at work getting ready for the change. Casinos have been installing outdoor heaters and putting up windscreens, while some city councils have been finding ways to loosen the law. The Central City town council officially defined an "outdoor area" as any place at least 40 percent exposed to the outdoors, allowing for construction of partly-enclosed smoking areas. The state provision requires that smoking stay at least 15 feet away from building entrances to prevent smoke from getting inside buildings, but since it also allows home-rule cities to change that distance, Central City and Black Hawk both reduced their official smoking distance to all of one inch. Central City's Mayor, Buddy Schmalz, says his town has "no intention of getting around any kind of laws on the smoking ban," saying his town is just preparing for the future, but Smoke-free Gaming of Colorado, the coalition of casino employees and patrons who worked to close the loophole that allowed continued smoking in casinos, expressed disappointment that the towns are working to circumvent the state law.


Why don't you just quit smoking now, it won't be long until the price per pack goes way up, and you will only be able to smoke in your own house.

It is time to quit.

You will enjoy life better and longer, and won't stink.

I quit, you can too.

What's this story got to do with spin?

Seems to me that the only spinning here is being done by CMD itself. By running this story you're quietly suggesting that some kind of nefarious PR is being practised by the pro-smoking lobby. But I don't see any evidence for that. Sure you're not just expressing personal support for one side of the dispute?

Declaration of interests: I don't smoke or live in Colorado, thank God, but I sympathise with those who do.


The spin in this item is how the casino towns are interpreting the new law to undermine its intent. Obviously, one inch from a doorway isn't really "away" from a doorway at all, and by most people understand "outdoors" to be a place without walls at all.

Sorry for the lack of clarity. I'll try to be clearer in the future.

Anne Landman