Boulder tightens outdoor smoking regulations

(AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
<p>A smoker taps a cigarette into an ash tray in a file photo.</p>

The Boulder City Council expanded the city's outdoor smoking ban Tuesday night. Smokers will have to refrain from lighting up while they are downtown, at city parks, bus stops, multi-use paths and entrances to buildings, the Daily Camera reports.

The measure didn't generate much controversy. The decision to extend the ban to e-cigarettes was the "sole source of disagreement" among those at the meeting Tuesday, the Camera reports:

Kevan Masters told the City Council he smoked for 22 years and finally was able to quit by switching to vaping.

"Electronic cigarettes" usually contain a battery-operated heating element that vaporizes a solution containing nicotine. That vapor is then inhaled by the user. Unless the solution is flavored — which it often is — there is no odor.

Advocates of vaping say it is much safer than smoking cigarettes and provides an alternative for people who have been unable to quit in other ways.

They told the City Council banning vaping in public sends a message to smokers that they should just keep smoking cigarettes because there is no difference and that there is no equivalent to second-hand smoke that would harm passersby.

Meanwhile, the Fort Collins City Council Tuesday gave its initial approval to its own outdoor smoking ban. That would cover most outdoor public places and the heart of Old Town, the Coloradoan reports.