Officials in Boise, Idaho, are looking into making changes to existing state laws governing bans against smoking.
The city council is considering instituting a ban against smoking in bars, home-based businesses, tobacco shops, and other establishments where people congregate.
If the proposed Smoke Free Air Ordinances are approved, the new restrictions will be implemented on top of existing smoking bans in the state. At this time, Idaho state laws ban smoking in public areas, including restaurants, elevators, and the majority of work places. The entire campus of Boise State University, for instance, is smoke-free.
According to the city administration, these proposed ordinances have public support, based on the results of a Boise City Citizen Survey conducted in 2010, which indicated that 70 percent of the city’s residents are amenable to a ban against smoking in all indoor public areas.
There are those, however, who disagree. Stan Minder, owner of Hannifin’s Cigar Shop, shared that he would like his customers to enjoy conversations, as well as tobacco: “People come in, ask if they can smoke, sit down, and read a magazine… So many places have banned smoking already; when people come into a smoke shop, they know what they’re coming into.”
Anti-smoking advocates in Boise have been working on implementing a ban against smoking for several years, but most bars where the city wishes to regulate smoking, like Hannigan’s, are against the ban. Such a move, they point out, will hurt the ambience of their businesses.