Denver approves a smoking and vaping ban for the 16th Street Mall – The Denver Post

Smokers and vapers on Denver’s 16th Street Mall are now on notice: Starting Dec. 1, they will need to walk at least 50 feet down a side street before lighting up or puffing.

The Denver City Council approved the public smoking ban 9-0 on Monday night, ending a weeks-long debate about how best to ensure that police don’t use the new restrictions to single out the homeless or service workers on their smoke breaks.

Councilman Paul Kashmann put forth an amendment requiring the Denver Police Department to collect information about who receives tickets, with regular reports to the council.

Even if all it takes to comply with the ban is to venture far enough off the mall, he said, “I just want to be absolutely sure that those who decide to not take that stroll, due either to obstinance or ignorance,” aren’t unfairly targeted.

His colleagues embraced that idea unanimously, but six of the nine present rejected another change proposed by Kashmann — to slap a two-year sunset on the ordinance. That would have required a council review of the measure by 2019 it to remain in effect, as a check to make sure it truly was about public health and “not just for public relations” to improve mall’s image, as Kashmann put it.


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