Wednesday, June 25, 2014

UPDATE: Garden City Moves Forward With Scaled-Back Smoking Ban

Posted By on Wed, Jun 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

UPDATE: June 25, 2014

The tagline for Smokefree Idaho is "Everyone has the right to breathe clean air." That's why the anti-smoking organization has pulled its support of Garden City's proposed smoking ban.

The iteration of the ban under consideration by the Garden City City Council has been amended to exclude bars and bingo halls for people over age 21, but according to Smokefree representative Stacy Satterlee, that means workers in those establishments will continue to be exposed to harmful secondhand smoke.

"Why is it OK for them to not have the same [workplace] protections we have?" Satterlee said.

Removing protections for workers in bars and bingo halls, she said, "really took a lot of the meat out of the ordinance."

According to her, an anti-smoking ban that would have Smokefree Idaho's support would include workplace protections for all workers, the closure of loopholes for small business (five or fewer workers), at least a percentage of hotel and motel rooms in a city that are smoke-free, and no smoking near business doors and ventilation. 

ORIGINAL POST: June 24, 2014

The Garden City Council voted Monday to host two more public readings of a reduced-in-scope smoking ban, the Associated Press reports.

The present version of the ban would prohibit smoking in most indoor public places, but stops short of banning it in bars or bingo halls for people age 21 and over. Previous versions of the ordinance would have prohibited smoking inside all businesses, but that plan was nixed after Garden City bar owners said a ban could cost them business. 

Health officials backed the original plan, saying that smoking in bars raised health concerns for workers employed in closed spaces where people smoke.

In 2011, Boise enacted a smoking ban of its own that prohibits the activity in bars, parks and along the greenbelt. Some bar owners said the Boise ban impacted business, but bar and restaurant employees affected by the ban said they'd experienced health issues from working in close proximity to secondhand smoke.

Currently, Caldwell is considering a smoking ban at the Canyon County-owned Gabiola Field, Simplot Stadium, Wolfe Field Baseball Stadium and O'Connor Field House.

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