Everyone has the Right to Breathe Smoke-free Air

Boise, ID—November 29, 2011 — Smokefree Idaho, a coalition of health related organizations and concerned citizens applauds the Boise City Council and its commitment to protect ALL workers in Boise from the dangers of secondhand smoke.  The Council passed a Smoke-Free Air Ordinance today which when enacted on January 2, 2012, will protect the health of Boise’s workforce by putting in place a comprehensive smoke-free workplace policy.

The State of Idaho’s current law prohibits smoking in publicly owned workplaces, in restaurants, including attached bars, and in public places. Yet the state law doesn’t cover everyone.  Therefore Smokefree Idaho supports the Boise City Council in its move to outlaw smoking in all remaining workplaces not previously covered by the state statute.

Smokefree Idaho recognizes that everyone has the right to breathe clean air, including employees and customers who frequent the area’s local bars and clubs.  Secondhand smoke contains 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic (such as formaldehyde, arsenic and lead), and is a proven cause of cancer and heart disease.  According to the Centers for Disease Control, exposure to secondhand smoke kills about 50,000 non-smoking Americans every year. This year in Idaho secondhand smoke is expected to kill 190 people and cost $19.4 million in health care costs.

The proposal was met with support by Boise council members and community members. 

The benefits for my employees far out weigh the loss of privileges the smokers will lose with this ordinance. My new policy has been nothing but positive for my customers and economic growth.— Ted Challenger, Owner of three poular downtown bars

Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights notes that across the nation a total of 622 communities and 23 states have already implemented 100% smoke free policies including bars. Over 23 studies of the effects of these measures demonstrated there is no significant adverse impact on revenues. A 2010 Citizen Survey found that 70% of Boise residents support local ordinances prohibiting smoking in public places.