In 2011, the City Council in Boise passed an ordinance banning smoking in bars, on patios, and in other publicly shared spaces. The ordinance was not an easy lift, and took a great deal of hard work by the AHA staff, volunteers, and the many other partners and supporters in the effort to secure approval by the City Council. However, because electronic cigarettes and other vaping devices were so new at the time, and research on the health impacts was not yet widely available, these devices and products were excluded from the language.
That exclusion has now been corrected. Through partners working with Council Member Holli Woodings, an amendment to the original ordinance was offered that would include electronic cigarettes, vape, and other tobacco and nicotine devices in the definitions of smoking. All public comments at the hearing were in support of the amendment. At the April 16th hearing, Council Members commented on the original ordinance passage compared to the amendment:
“I remember how difficult it was for the city to take (the original clean air) stance, to bring forward the anti-smoking ordinance,” council member Lisa Sánchez said. “I know for myself it meant that I got to enjoy Downtown establishments more.” (Idaho Statesman)
“A far cry different hearing than the original… shows how far we have come in recognizing the importance of health.” Council Member TJ Thompson (Boise City Council Meeting, 4/16/19).
“It is striking the difference in the hearings comparatively… we have indeed come a long way that this is as easy as it is.” Mayor Dave Bieter, (Boise City Council Meeting, 4/16/19).
Final approval on the amendment occurred at the May 7th City Council meeting.