The Colorado Supreme Court has upheld a state ban on smoking on stage, ruling that public health trumps actors' freedom of expression.
The court ruled 6-1 Monday that the statewide smoking ban can legally apply to theaters.
Theater production companies challenged the ban, arguing that smoking is necessary to accurately produce plays.
Colorado Attorney General John Suthers argued that actors could use fake cigarettes to get the point across.
The dissenting justice said character and plots would lack depth and expressive force without such effects as smoke hovering on stage or an actor's poignant puff.
The Legislature banned smoking in 2006 but exempted airport smoking lounges, cigar bars and casinos. Casinos lost their exemption in 2008.
Information from: The Denver Post, http://www.denverpost.com
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