Aspen/Pitkin, Colorado Environmental Health Department

  To: Mr. Haynes
  From: Lee Cassin, City Director
  Date: March 6, 1999

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Page One
Dear Mr. Haynes:
I am writing to describe to you the effects of the City of Aspen's smoking ordinance on business and tourism. In 1985, the City of Aspen passed a Clean Indoor Air Act that prohibited smoking in dining areas of restaurants, in public areas of retail or service stores, and that provided for non-smoking places in places of employment. The law quite immediately became a non-issue, although before its passage, it was quite controversial. [click on image to download document -- 12K]


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While the ordinance was being deliberated, many business owners asserted that tourism would decline in Aspen, and that business revenue would decline. Therefore the City Council provided for a 6-month review of the impacts of the ordinance, which at first provided for smoking and non-smoking areas in restaurants. (Restaurants opposed this because they felt they would have vacant tables in one section, but customers for another section, thus losing business.)

The City surveyed over 100 restaurants and other businesses. The survey did not find that the smoking ordinance had any negative impact on businesses or tourism. This clear finding gave the Council the assurance it wanted that businesses would not be hurt if they proceeded with measures necessary to protect the public health. (At the time, less was known than now about the direct harm caused by second-hand smoke.)

The ordinance has not caused any enforcement problems,is widely supported by both residents and visitors, and has not been found to negatively affect businesses. If you would like additional information, please feel free to contact me.


Lee Cassin, City Director
Aspen/Pitkin Environmental Health Department

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