Indoor Smoking Laws

Legislation to limit smoking in many work and public places – and thus limiting exposure to secondhand smoke – began with Colorado's Clean Indoor Air Act in 2006.  

The Colorado Indoor Air Act requires indoor areas to be smoke-free, including, but not limited to:
  • Public places and buildings such as elevators, restrooms, theaters, museums, libraries, schools, educational institutions and retirement facilities 
  • Lobbies, reception areas, hallways and any other common-use areas
  • Any place of employment not exempted
  • Restaurants, bars, casinos, pool halls, bowling alleys, grocery stores, and any food service establishment
  • Indoor sports arenas, gymnasiums and auditoriums
  • Health care facilities, hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices 
  • No less than 75 percent of hotel or motel rooms
  • Jury waiting and deliberation rooms, courtrooms, and public meetings
  • Government-owned mass transportation of any kind
  • Within a 15-foot radius of the entrance of an establishment 

Exemptions include:
  • Private homes, residences, and automobiles unless being used for childcare or daycare
  • Limousines under private hire
  • Up to 25 percent of rented hotel or motel rooms
  • Retail tobacco businesses
  • An establishment that met the definition of a "cigar-tobacco bar," as of December 31, 2005
  • The outdoor area of any business, excluding entryways 
  • Fully enclosed and independently ventilated airport smoking concessions 
  • Employers with three or fewer employees who do not allow access to the public
  • A private, non-residential building on a farm or ranch that has an annual gross income of less than $500,000

If you witness smoking where it is unlawful you can find out how to report a violation by clicking here.

Updates to the law:
  • Exemptions for assisted living facilities went into effect August of 2007, including areas designated for smoking for residents; areas that are fully enclosed and ventilated; and areas to which access is restricted to the residents or their guests.
  • As of January 1, 2008, casinos are now required to be smoke-free.
  • Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act amended in 2010 to include medical marijuana.
  • Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act amended in 2013 to remove the term "medical." Marijuana smoking is prohibited in all places and locations in which tobacco smoking is prohibited.

See where your community stands on clean air. Many have passed laws stronger than the state laws to protect their citizens from tobacco smoke and aerosols from e-cigarettes. Click here for a list of communities with rankings from

Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, Tobacco Taxes: A WIN-WIN-WIN for Cash-Strapped States, Feb. 2010