BOISE –Packed into the Idaho Statehouse, council members made it clear they are in support of a healthier Boise. Councilors passed the smoking ban Tuesday evening making it illegal to smoke in bars, many public places and even the Boise Greenbelt.
The new ordinance takes effect January 2, 2012.
The ordinance comes in two parts, the first passed with a 5 to 0 vote, bans smoking in bars and private clubs, near bus stops or other transit areas, on outdoor commercial patios accessible to children or on public property, at the Grove Plaza, on 8th Street from Bannock to Main streets, within 20 feet of a City of Boise-owned building, in outdoor ticket and service lines, and in other public locations.
“There is a lot of evidence about the effects of second hand smoke on everyone and for me as a public official this is a public health issue,” said council member Elaine Clegg.
“Every citizen whether they have health issues or small children with asthmatics should be able to gather in our public places without fear for their health,” said council member Lauren McLean
They also agreed Boise should also be a healthy place to work
“Patrons have a choice to what establishments they choose to visit but employees do not,” said council member TJ Thomson.
Council member Thompson was the only one to vote against the second ordinance which bans smoking in all public parks, including within 20 feet of the Boise Greenbelt except in designated areas within Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks and the Warm Springs Golf Course.
However, not all are happy with the decision to ban smoking in many public areas.
“I can’t believe that it is happening right here in Boise Idaho,” said Gary Sullivan the owner of Quinn’s Restaurant and Lounge.
Sullivan is outraged at the decision.
“This whole thing stinks, if someone from the private sector tried to do something like this you would be in jail so fast your head would spin,” he said.
Sullivan, like many others believe the city should not infringe on individual rights.
“The first thing that we will do is we will file a lawsuit,” said Sullivan.
The smoking ban vote leaves others like Star Warne pleased.
“I think that the smoking ban is good for everybody there are doors that go to outside people can smoke outside,” said Warne.
The city will distribute smoke-free signs to help bar owners educate their customers. If a smoker violates the law, it will cost $69. E-cigarettes are still allowed.