As you may remember, during the 2022 Idaho Legislative Session, we were fighting against tobacco preemption legislation in Senate Bill 1285a. This legislation goes into effect on July 1, 2022, and will prevent local authorities, like City Councils and County Commissioners, from implementing ordinances and laws around tobacco products that go further then state law.
We oppose laws that prevent local elected officials from responding to the needs within their communities and that is why we fought so hard to stop it. Across the state, different communities face different challenges, particularly around youth use of tobacco and nicotine products. Issues with these products are often seen earliest at the local level, and we believe local communities should have the authority to respond to these challenges. While we couldn’t stop the bill from passing, we were able to negotiate amendments to it that preserved the ability of communities to continue to determine things like density and distance of retailers, and regulations around smoke free spaces. This means that local decision makers can prevent a new vape shop from being opened next door to the high school, or to protect hospitality employees from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
hero_image_alt_text===A photo of a variety of nicotine products including Juul, cigarettes and snoosh
thumbnail_alt_text===A photo of a variety of nicotine products including Juul, cigarettes and snoosh
Moving forward, we want to work with local communities across the state to ensure they maintain the ability to make decisions for their cities. We also want to continue protecting the health of workers and youth across the state, by supporting smoke-free efforts. We are reaching out to local businesses and organizations to build community coalitions working to improve health in their communities. We encourage all advocates supporting a healthier Idaho to join us in our efforts by opposing further preemption of local efforts and engaging in our work to eliminate the dangers of secondhand smoke in all public spaces. If you are interested in supporting local smoke free efforts, or would like more information about protecting the health of your community, please contact me at [email protected]