John Leyba, The Denver PostRay Gallegos smokes a cigarette on Denver’s 16th Street Mall on Wednesday. The Denver City Council is considering a measure to ban smoking and vaping on or near the mall.
Re: “Denver’s proposed 16th Street Mall smoking ban a means to discriminate, homeless advocates say,” Oct. 11 news story.
I can’t believe that homeless advocates oppose the banning of smoking on the 16th Street Mall, arguing it is “discrimination, and likening it to Jim Crow and other past laws crafted to limit the opportunities of certain groups.” Smoking is not only expensive, but seriously impairs the health of the smoker as well as others nearby. If homeless advocates really want to help the homeless improve their health and have more money for food and other necessities, they should encourage any proposal that could even remotely help reduce or eliminate smoking by homeless and non-homeless alike.
Bob Phelps, M.D., Denver
I urge the Denver City Council to pass this measure. I reside in a Denver suburb, and no longer come to 16th Street Mall to shop or eat due to the unhealthy and dirty cigarette smoke. Simply put, the mall smells. Opponents say the measure unfairly targets “impoverished” people. How can someone say they are impoverished if they can pay $5 to $7 for a pack of cigarettes? Pass this measure. The smokers will find somewhere else to smoke. Maybe they will even quit if smoking becomes a hassle.
Karyn Smith, Arvada
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Source:: The Denver Post