Most of us have a good understanding of the harmful impacts of secondhand smoke. For years we’ve been aware that secondhand smoke can cause even nonsmokers to suffer from the same health hazards as smokers. We’ve also seen the increased prevalence of vaping, and along with the already documented health consequences of using these devices, we are still in the process of researching and understanding the impact of secondhand aerosols on non-vape users.
However, too many Idahoans are still at risk from exposure to secondhand smoke due to current exceptions in the state Clean Indoor Air Act. This law lays the groundwork for protecting employees, customers, and other individuals from the respiratory, cardiovascular, and other health risks secondhand smoke causes, but does not go far enough. The Clean Indoor Air Act ensures we no longer have smoking in restaurants; however it provides exceptions for bars, hotels, motels, small offices, state veteran’s homes, and several other types of facilities open to the public. It also provides no guidance for communities with shared outdoor spaces, such as parks, bike paths and hiking trails, sports facilities, fairgrounds, or other places where communities gather.
At a time when we are facing severe public health challenges, with long term consequences still uncertain, it is critical we take the steps to protect our communities from the terrible outcomes we already know. We are working to strengthen state laws to remove secondhand smoke from public spaces. We are pursuing a comprehensive indoor/ outdoor smoke free air law. This would prevent the majority of Idahoans who are not smokers from being inadvertently exposed to secondhand smoke of all types, in all public spaces. Passing this legislation at the state level also helps ensure we don’t have a patchwork of different laws in communities across the state, and provides easier enforcement and less confusion for business owners and those who manage public spaces.
If you are interested in protecting your family, friends, and neighbors from being inadvertently exposed to harmful secondhand smoke and aerosol, and want to provide a healthier environment for all Idahoans, we ask you to help support our efforts for a statewide smoke free law. If you have questions or would like to talk about the issue please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
hero_image_alt_text===The words Smokefree Idaho with a blue outline of the state of Idaho
thumbnail_alt_text===The words Smokefree Idaho with a blue outline of the state of Idaho