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Boulder Moves To Snuff Out Smoking On City Property

Jon Hurd
Creative Commons/Flickr
An area between the library and 13th St in Boulder could soon be off-limits to smokers

Finding places to smoke outdoors in Boulder may soon be more difficult.

City officials this week took a step toward banning smoking on downtown city property. The new rule would also prohibit smoking while sitting in parked cars in the area.

"We’re talking about a very specific area in the heart of the city of Boulder," city spokesperson Sarah Huntley says. "It’s called the municipal campus, and it runs from the public library to about 13th Sreet where the Boulder farmers’ market is held, and then between Arapahoe and Canyon Blvd."

Huntley says the move is aimed at addressing concerns about second-hand smoke along this popular gathering area.

"Much of the space in this proposed ban is green space," Huntley says. "People come down to the creek with their kids, they want to jog, they want to walk and bike along the bike path. These are by their very nature ways of pursuing a healthier lifestyle. But many residents are telling us they’re currently avoiding the area, or they participate in these activities under a haze of smoke."

Boulder isn’t the first community to propose wide restrictions on outdoor smoking, Huntley says, noting that Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Albuquerque have banned smoking in parks.

"This is really consistent with what we think is a community value, that really places health and well-being and wellness at the forefront," she says. "And we're hopeful the community will agree that this is consistent with that."

Huntley says the rule won’t take effect until after a 15-day public comment period – and could be modified, depending on the feedback they get.

Comments can be emailed to Ann Large in the city manager’s office.

As the host of KUNC’s new program and podcast In the NoCo, I work closely with our producers and reporters to bring context and diverse perspectives to the important issues of the day. Northern Colorado is such a diverse and growing region, brimming with history, culture, music, education, civic engagement, and amazing outdoor recreation. I love finding the stories and voices that reflect what makes NoCo such an extraordinary place to live.
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