Smoking Ban

A federal judge today upheld Colorado's statewide smoking ban, rejecting arguments that it violates the constitutional rights of bar owners.

The bar owners had argued that the ban unfairly applied to them while exempting casinos and airport smoking lounges.

U.S. District Court Judge Lewis Babcock ruled they had not shown the exemptions were irrational or unfair.

Babcock also rejects their arguments that the ban unfairly makes bar owners liable for actions by their patrons and that the penalties are vague.

He also rejected an argument that the ban infringes on bar owners' property rights.

The suit was filed in June by the Coalition for Equal Rights and Shari Warren, owner a tavern in Black Forest.

The smoking ban took effect July first.

It exempts casinos, cigar bars, airport smoking lounges and private workplaces with three employees or less.