Lighting up inside restaurants and bars is now a thing of the past. The long-contested statewide smoking ban takes effect Saturday. The no smoking signs are already and the ashtrays are gone.
It’s the first time Amy Kobylinski is eating smoke-free at the Big Train. "This was one of the first places I came to when I moved from Alaska, but it was so smoky, I couldn't eat. I walked out. But, with the ban starting today, I came back to eat," she laughed.
But even now, after the ban is implemented, the long heated debate doesn't seem to end. "I don't like the fact it's a law you can't smoke," Dan Fortune, a non-smoker, said.
Chammps Restaurant retired their ashtrays at midnight and stashed them away behind closed doors. "They're getting rid of them, that's for sure, even the ones outside. They were moved 15 feet from building," said Suzanne Asuncion said.
Many bar and restaurant owners have feared that the ban would hurt business. But, only time will tell. For now, smokers are trying to get used to eating a meal and then lighting up, outside.
The fines for smoking inside any public building range from $200-$500. Colorado Springs Police say if you are caught lighting up indoors during the next 60 days, you'll just get a warning. Remember, casinos and cigar bars are exempt.