Lawmakers Restore Tough Conditions for Statewide Smoking Ban

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State lawmakers restored tough provisions to a bill today that would ban smoking across Colorado.

The proposal had been watered-down in the Senate to apply only to restaurants that don't serve liquor.

Colorado Restaurant Association president Pete Meersman said the changes were a mistake and asked lawmakers today to "level the playing field."

An amendment to broaden the bill was introduced by Representative Mark Larson, a Republican from Cortez. The amendment exempts casinos outside eating areas, the smoking lounge at Denver International Airport, bingo parlors, hospices and cigar bars.

The House Health and Human Services Committee approved the amendment and the bill, despite objections from a lobbyist for the Colorado Licensed Beverage Association who says the bill would create an elite group of exemptions.

The bill now moves to the full House for debate.