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Smoking Regulations in Colorado

The purpose of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act 2006 is to preserve and improve the health, comfort, and environment of the residents of Colorado by limiting exposure to tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke.[i] 

The Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act 2006 provides that in order to reduce the levels of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, smoking shall not be permitted in any indoor area, including, but not limited to pubic meeting places, elevators, government owned or -operated means of mass transportation, taxicabs and limousine, grocery stores, gymnasiums, jury waiting and deliberation rooms, courtrooms, child day care facilities, health care facilities including hospitals, health care clinics, doctor’s offices as well as any place of employment that is not exempted from the regulations. [ii]  Public buildings, auditoriums, theaters, museums, and libraries are also to be maintained smoke free.  Smoking is also prohibited in food service establishments, bars, limited gaming facilities or other facilities conducting gaming or gambling, indoor sports arenas, restrooms, lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in public and private buildings, condominiums, and other multiple-unit residential facilities, restrooms, lobbies, hallways, and other common areas in public and private buildings, common areas in hotels and motels, and in at least seventy-five percent of the sleeping quarters within a hotel or motel that are rented to guests.  Bowling alleys, billiard or pool halls, facilities where games of chance are conducted, common areas of retirement facilities and publicly owned housing facilities are also places where smoking is prohibited.  Smoking is generally not allowed in nursing facilities and in resident’s private residential quarters or areas of assisted living facilities.  Educational institutions and entryways of all buildings and facilities are also to be kept smoke free. [iii] 

In the case of employers owning facilities where smoking is permitted, there should be a smoke-free work area for each employee who requests for a smoke free environment.[iv]  Every employee shall have a right to work in an area free of environmental tobacco smoke.[v]

There are certain exceptions to the restriction on smoking.  These places include private homes, residences, and automobiles unless being used for child care or day care or for transportation of children, limousines under private hire, up to 25% of rented hotel or motel rooms, retail tobacco businesses, cigar-tobacco bar, and airport smoking concession areas.  Smoking is also allowed in outdoor area of any business, place of employment with three or fewer employees and where access to the public is not granted, and a private, non-residential building on a farm or ranch that has an annual gross income of less than $500,000.[vi]  Smoking is also not restricted in areas of assisted living facilities that are designated for smoking for residents.  Such areas must however be fully enclosed and ventilated and access in such areas must be restricted to the residents or their guests.[vii]

Section 25-14-204 lists the places where smoking is regulated in Colorado.  Section 25-14-205 lists exemptions to these requirements.  Section 25-14-206 further lists certain optional prohibitions.   As per Section 25-14-206, the owner or manager of any place where smoking is not specifically regulated or exempted may post signs prohibiting smoking or providing smoking and nonsmoking areas.  Such posting will have the effect of including such place, or the designated nonsmoking portion as a place where smoking is prohibited or restricted.[viii]  If the owner or manager of a place where smoking is not specifically regulated or exempted receives a request from an employee to create a smoke-free work area, the owner or manager shall post appropriate signs and shall designate a particular area as a smoke-free work area.[ix]

A person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited is guilty of class 2 petty offense.  On conviction, such person shall be punished by a fine not exceeding two hundred dollars for a first violation within a calendar year, a fine not exceeding three hundred dollars for a second violation within a calendar year, and a fine exceeding five hundred dollars for each additional violation within a calendar year.  Each day of a continuing violation shall be deemed a separate violation.[x]

 [i] C.R.S. 25-14-202

[ii] C.R.S. 25-14-204 (1)

[iii] C.R.S. 25-14-204 (1)

[iv] Id

[v] Id

[vi] C.R.S. 25-14-205

[vii] Id

[viii] C.R.S. 25-14-206

[ix] Id

[x] C.R.S. 25-14-208

Inside Smoking Regulations in Colorado