Frequently Asked Questions
Do citizens enjoy smoke-free areas in Arvada?
Yes. Arvada was among the first cities in Colorado to approve no smoking laws. In 2006, Arvada banned the smoking of traditional tobacco products, such as cigarettes, in most public places and in indoor and outdoor sports arenas. Most cities in Colorado, and across the nation, have now enacted no smoking laws to protect the public’s health. In 2015, Arvada joined a growing number of cities that ban the use of electronic smoking devices (ESDs) in most public areas.
Does Arvada’s no smoking laws cover vaping, as well?
Yes. In Arvada, vaping (the term for using an ESD) is treated the same as smoking a traditional tobacco cigarette, with one exception, which is noted in the section on smoking prohibitions set forth below. It’s easy: if it is illegal to smoke in an area, it is also illegal to vape in that area.
Where may I review Arvada’s no smoking ordinance?
Our no smoking (no vaping) ordinance is located in sections 38-301 through 307 of the Arvada City Code. This ordinance may be found under related links at https://arvada.org/smoking-restricted-in-public-places
Where is smoking prohibited?
It is illegal to smoke or vape in the following areas:
- Within 25 feet of the public entrances to buildings and facilities;
- Upon our parks, trails, and golf courses;
- In all restaurants, taverns, theaters, and outdoor customer seating areas;
- In all educational facilities, libraries, child care centers, hospitals, health care facilities and institutions;
- In all auditoriums, arenas, and assembly or meeting rooms;
- In all means of public transportation including taxicabs, limousines not under private hire, government owned buses, vans, and trains, and upon public transit platforms, waiting areas, and stations;
- In all governmental buildings, and in all financial institutions, office buildings, restrooms, and elevators; and
- In any sports arena, including all indoor and outdoor sports pavilions, athletic fields, gymnasiums, swimming pools, skating rinks, bowling alleys, and other similar places;
- In all retail establishments, including smoking businesses;*
- All hotel and motel rooms**.
* Exception: An adult is permitted to use an ESD in a smoking business that also meets the requirements for a “specialty vapor store.” No one under the age of 18 is allowed in such businesses.
** By State law egffective July 1, 2019.
May I smoke or vape in a private residence?
Yes (with permission from the owner or tenant).
May I use my asthma inhaler in a public place or at a sports arena?
Yes. Our no smoking laws permit the use of any product specifically approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as a tobacco cessation device, or for use in mitigating, treating or preventing disease.
May I smoke or vape medical marijuana in public place or at a sports arena?
No. Other city and state laws prevent the smoking or use of marijuana in public.
What is an ESD?
An ESD means a device like an electronic cigarette, cigar, cigarillo, hookah or pipe.
Is smoking or vaping in a smoke-free area considered a criminal offense?
Yes, smoking or vaping in a smoke-free area may result in the issuance of a citation.
What are the penalties for a person who smokes or vapes where prohibited?
Smoking or vaping where prohibited may result in a fine ranging from $200 for a first offense to $500 for a third or subsequent violation.
I run a business in Arvada. How do Arvada’s no smoking laws affect my business?
All businesses and facilities that are required to be smoke-free must also be vapor-free. The only exception is if you operate a business that is considered a “specialty vaping store.” If you run a retail business that qualifies as a “specialty vaping store” under the ordinance, an adult may vape within the store.
May people smoke or vape outside the public entrance to my business?
No. Arvada ordinances create a smoke- and vapor-free “bubble” within 25 feet of any public entrance to a building or other premises.
What about my employee entrance(s)? Are they included as smoke and vapor-free areas under Arvada’s no smoking laws?
Arvada’s no smoking laws require that public entrances be smoke- and vapor-free (note the “bubble” information, above). If your employee entrance is the same as your public entrance, this entrance must be smoke- and vapor- free (meaning no smoking or vaping is allowed within 25 feet of this entrance). Employee-only entrances do not fall within the smoke- and vapor-free “bubble”; however, if your business considers your employee-only entrances to smoke-free, you should consider making them vapor-free, as well.
I have an outdoor seating area. Must this space be a smoke- and vapor-free area under Arvada’s no smoking ordinance?
Yes, all outdoor business seating areas, including bar and restaurant patios, must be smoke- and vapor-free. Posting no smoking signs in these areas will assist your customers in complying with our ordinance, and will reduce or eliminate customer questions about smoking or vaping in your outdoor seating area. Sample seating area signs are available at https://arvada.org/smoking-restricted-in-public-places.
How may I help my customers and employees comply with our no smoking ordinance?
You may post signs letting your customers and employees know about our no smoking (no vaping) ordinance. A smoke- and vapor-free entranceway sign and other sample signs may be downloaded at https://arvada.org/smoking-restricted-in-public-places, or you may contact Jefferson County Public Health for assistance. This FAQ sheet may also help you inform your employees about our no smoking (no vaping) laws.
How should I approach a person who is smoking or vaping in an area that is designated as a smoke- and vapor-free area?
If the situation feels safe, you can respectfully point to no smoking (no vaping) signs that are posted in the area, or just let the person know they are in an area designated by law as a smoke- and vapor-free area. If there is any risk to you or others’ safety, or the person continues to smoke or vape in an area that has been protected by law from smoke and vapor, move away from the person or area and call the Arvada Police Department’s non-emergency number at 720-898-6900.
Where may my employees and others smoke?
Smoking and vaping may occur in a place not designated as a smoke- and vape-free area. Because there is no safe level of secondhand smoke, and because we are just beginning to understand the dangers of secondhand ESD vapors, we encourage you to help your employees and customers who want to take a smoke or ESD break to find a safe area away from others. Smokers and “vapers” should be encouraged to remain at a safe distance (at least 25 feet) from others to help buffer smoke and vapor drift.
May the police issue a citation to me or my employees if we fail to comply with our no smoking ordinance?
Yes. Businesses are responsible for ensuring that customers and employees are not subjected to secondhand smoke or ESD vapors. A business covered by the ordinance which permits smoking (vaping) on its property in violation of our laws may be subject to a citation and fine, which range from $200 for a first offense to $500 for a third or subsequent offense.
What help is being provided to comply with our no smoking and no vaping laws?
The City of Arvada and Jefferson County Public Health assists businesses by providing information, sample signage and help with questions about our no smoking (no vaping) laws. Information is also available to those who have questions about smoking, vaping, other forms of tobacco or substance use, secondhand smoke and vapor exposure and where to get help for recovery from tobacco use.
I have a question that is not answered by this FAQ document. Where can I get additional information?
We understand this FAQ sheet cannot answer every question about smoking or vaping in Arvada. If you need more information, please visit the webpage dedicated to providing information about Arvada’s no smoking (no vaping) laws at https://arvada.org/smoking-restricted-in-public-places. If you prefer, you may contact the Arvada City Manager’s Office at 720-898-7500 for further additional assistance.