Smoked Out

Travel East
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Travel East
Fall Line 1104

In the 1950s, Italian Olympic downhill gold-medalist Zeno Colo used to take a few dramatic drags from a cigarette in the starting gate, then flick the butt into the snow before pushing off. Colo wouldn't be welcome at Maine's Black Mountain resort, the first U.S. ski area to ban all tobacco use on its property-by employees and visitors alike. "Our mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle, which doesn't include tobacco," Terrie Anne Bennett, the resort's general manager, says. The tobacco-free resort forbids use of cigarettes, cigars, pipes and chew. Bennett says there's never been a lot of cigarette smoking at the area, but there is a kind of tobacco underground. "You would be surprised that some coaches and racers chew," she says. No employee has quit over the ban; no customer has stormed off. "But one guy emailed me and said 'I'm going to drive by your resort every day and blow smoke out my window.'"

NOVEMBER 2004