Pocatello could be going the way of Boise, Eagle and 60 other heavily populated cities in the United States by imposing a smoking ban in public places. The Idaho State Journal reports
that Pocatello Mayor Brian Blad said he was approached by a group of individuals asking for the city to enact a no-smoking policy in public places including restaurants, bars and city parks. It’s a move he said he would support.
“Personally, I wouldn’t object to it,” Blad told the Journal
, “but I can’t speak for the City Council.”
If the council agreed with him, the law could be in place as early as January 2014. Blad said he suspects a smoking ban in Pocatello would be met with strong opposition.
“We’re accustomed to doing what we want, where we want,” he said. “They call smoking a right, I would call it a choice."
Blad pointed out that in cities with smoking bans already in place, bar sales have actually increased.
Last fall, Idaho State University enacted its own no-smoking policy and ISU Student Affairs Vice President Patricia Terrell said the response from students has been positive. A random survey showed the majority of students, faculty and staff members support the ban.
Boise passed its no-smoking law last year. Smokers in the city can be fined almost $70 for a violation.