The mayor has vetoed an ordinance that would have allowed smoking in special lounges at Stapleton International Airport and the planned new Denver airport, and called for a negotiated compromise.
Mayor Federico Pena had ordered a ban at the airports that was to take effect at the first of the year, but the city council last week passed an ordinance that would have permitted smoking in ventilated smoking lounges.Pena's veto effectively reinstates his smoking ban, but in a letter to council members explaining his decision, Pena said his administration will take a closer look at the lounges and ventilation systems.
The mayor, who earlier had pegged the cost of the special lounges at $1.7 million, said the city would get a better estimate and attempt to get the tobacco industry back into negotiations over funding for them.
Tobacco industry officials initially had said they would consider paying for the lounges, but they balked when Pena announced the cost estimate.
Phillip Morris USA spokeswoman Mary Cramer said Tuesday that the industry would be willing to supply ventilation systems, but probably would not pay the entire bill.
Pena has said that the city will not pay to accommodate smokers in public places.