May 25, 2010 - The U.S. Supreme Court has let stand a Colorado law that bans actors and actresses from smoking while performing their roles on stage. In December, the Colorado Supreme Court had approved the law 6-1 on the grounds that it did not violate the First Amendment right of free expression. The law is part of the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act.
It will apply not only to plays but also opera. Carmen, one of the world’s most performed operas, is set in a cigarette factory and the lead is a cigarette seller.
Back on April 18, 2001 New York's Theatre Communications Group (TCG) filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court asking it to rule in favor of three Colorado theater companies arguing that smoking within the context of a theatrical production is a First Amendment right of free expression. (Smoking within the context of a theatrical production should it be allowed??)
Several Denver area theaters had appealed the decision, but the Supreme Court declined to take the case in a Monday decision.
Reference: U.S. Supreme Allows Ban On Actors/Actresses Smoking by Robert Welle, ALLVOICES.com, 5/24/2010.
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