With less than a week (likely) left in the 2022 state legislative session we wanted to give you an update on where things stand. Last month we shared legislation that would prevent local authorities from passing laws and ordinances on tobacco products, S1285, which was moving through the Senate. While I wish I had better news to share the legislation has now passed through both the House and Senate and is headed to Governor Little for his signature.
We opposed this legislation because we believe local governments are most responsive to their constituents and have the best ability to react quickly to situations in their community, such as the explosion of electronic tobacco products or “vape shops” over the last several years. We believe that local city councils should have the ability to set standards that would prevent vape shops from being located next to a school, or targeted marketing where youth congregate, such as parks, playgrounds, and other spaces where children gather. We were able to stop this legislation in the 2020 and 2021 legislative sessions, but the prevalence of these restrictive laws nationwide has created more pressure on legislatures to remove local control, and created an obstacle we were unable to overcome.
While we were unable to stop the legislation, we were able to secure amendments to the original bill that will allow us to continue to fight the tobacco industry and the harms of nicotine and tobacco in our communities. The legislation would not prevent our work in local smokefree air efforts, and will ensure that local elected officials can prevent vape shops from locating next to schools and parks or other places youth might congregate. While we are disappointed the legislation was passed, and will be signed by the Governor, it only strengthens our resolve to continue fighting at the local level, and in the state legislature, against the tobacco industry efforts to addict our kids.
Thank you to those of you who took action on our alerts and sent a message to your legislator. We look forward to working with you in your communities and at the Statehouse to stop the tobacco industry from addicting another generation to these dangerous and deadly products.
hero_image_alt_text===Street view of the Idaho state capitol building
thumbnail_alt_text===Street view of the Idaho state capitol building