Smokefree Idaho drops support for proposed Garden City smoking law

June 24, 2014 

Interviewed in May 2014, customers at Shorty's Saloon in Garden City were not happy that the city council is considering a smoking ban. "That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard, " said Bill Rose, lighting up. "They already have bars where it's smoke-free. Why force it on everyone. That's a freedom."

KATHERINE JONES — kjones@idahostatesman.com

Smokefree Idaho announced Tuesday it no longer supports the Garden City Council’s move to ban smoking in many public places.

That’s because the City Council amended the ordinance to exempt bars and bingo parlors before unanimously supporting the proposal Monday night. The proposed ordinance could be further amended before the council gives final approval.

"This is a difficult decision for us,” Smokefree coalition member Stacy Satterlee said in a news release. “However, with the amendments that were adopted last night, the ordinance no longer (protects) all workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke. In fact, the current ordinance takes a dangerous step backwards.”

“They are picking winners and losers by saying if you work in an environment that caters to people over 21 you don’t deserve to breathe clean indoor air at work, the same protections provided to almost every other worker in the state of Idaho, said Satterlee, director of government relations for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

At least one bar owner expressed delight after Monday night’s public hearing. Fifteen people testified at the hearing, including 10 who supported banning smoking in public places. Bar owners testified that the city should allow the marketplace to decide whether smoking continues in their establishments.

The city of Boise enacted a smoke ban in January 2012

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