Smoking in Public in Idaho 6/2010
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare was assigned the responsibility to develop rules that implement Senate Bill 1283 the statute following the administrative process and timeline. This document addresses a variety of questions the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has received about the Senate Bill and the rule-writing process.
Q. What is Senate Bill 1283?
A. On April 2, 2004, the Governor of the State of Idaho signed Senate Bill 1283 into law that prohibits smoking in public places and at public meetings. The intent of the bill is to protect public health, personal comfort and environment, the health of employees who work at public places and the rights of nonsmokers to breathe clean air.
Q. Why is this new law important?
A. Health officials have concluded that secondhand tobacco smoke causes or contributes to a multitude of diseases, including lung cancer and heart disease in nonsmoking adults, as well as serious conditions in children such as asthma, respiratory infections, and middle ear infections. Some studies have linked secondhand smoke with an increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome. In addition, public health officials have concluded that secondhand smoke can exacerbate adult asthma and allergies and cause eye, throat and nasal irritation.
Q. Who does this new law affect?
A. The new law affects almost everyone: smokers, business owners, patrons of businesses, policy makers, etc. Senate Bill 1283 prohibits smoking in public places and at public meetings in indoor environments.
Q. What does it mean to businesses?
A. The following are a few examples of businesses impacted by the new law. This list is not inclusive of all establishments that are impacted or circumstances that may be encountered when complying with the new law. This list is intended to provide examples only. Complete definitions governing indoor smoking can be found in Senate Bill 1283.
Restaurant - restaurants are no longer allowed to permit smoking inside.
Bar - a bar can allow smoking if the service of food is low risk, non-potentially hazardous food (not licensed as a restaurant), or no person under the age of twenty-one (21) years is permitted entrance.
Bar Within a Restaurant - a restaurant that has a bar within it falls under the definition of a restaurant and cannot allow smoking. However, there are options rules to address some circumstances where a bar is within a restaurant. Some establishments that contain a bar within a restaurant may: 1) physically isolate the bar area from the restaurant with a solid floor to ceiling wall, have a separate outside public entrance that is not shared with the restaurant, not have any windows or doorways connecting it to the restaurant where the public has access, and not allow secondhand smoke from the bar to impact the restaurant area; or 2) designate themselves as a completely non-smoking establishment; or 3) designate themselves as smoking as long as they comply with the definition of a bar (found above); or 4) may have posted hours as a non-smoking restaurant and hours as a smoking bar as long as they comply with the definition of a bar.
Golf Courses - golf courses have to comply with the new law if they are a semi-private or public course. Golf course restaurants and retail stores within the golf course will have to be non-smoking. Bars can allow smoking if they comply with the definition of a bar. However, as stated in the bar within the restaurant definition, golf course owners have several options in complying. Golf courses that contain a bar within a restaurant have the same options as a bar within a restaurant as stated above.
Hospitals - Senate Bill 1283 lists hospitals under the definition of public place and places a twenty (20) foot non-smoking restriction at the public entrances and exits to the facilities.
Daycares/Childcare Facilities - Smoking is not permitted in licensed daycares and childcare facilities, including facilities operated out of private homes during the hours children are present.
Stores - Senate Bill 1283 lists retail and grocery stores under the definition of public place.
Schools - Senate Bill 1283 lists schools (private, public, elementary, secondary and educational facilities - including dormitories) under the definition of public place and places a twenty (20) foot non-smoking restriction at all of the entrances and exits of such buildings or facilities.
Patios - patios are not considered under the definition of an enclosed indoor place of business, therefore, establishment owners can designate the smoking status of their patios.
Nursing Homes - Senate Bill 1283 states that common areas of nursing homes, including lobbies, hallways, and other designated dining areas and restrooms fall under the definition of public place where smoking is not allowed. A business owner or other person in charge may designate private guest rooms as smoking or non-smoking.
Hotels/Motels -Senate Bill 1283 states that common areas of hotels/motels, including lobbies, hallways, restaurants, and other designated dining areas and restrooms fall under the definition of public place where smoking is not allowed. A business owner or other person in charge may designate private guest rooms as smoking or non-smoking.
Bowling Alleys/Centers - defined in the rules as a place of business with at least two bowling lanes on its premises and is operated for public entertainment, can allow smoking.
Social, Fraternal, Religious Organizations - Senate Bill 1283 states that smoking is permitted in buildings owned and operated by such organizations.
Q. What if my business is not in compliance?
A. Penalties associated with violations of the new law are stated in the Senate Bill. A business owner who violates the provisions of the law commits an infraction and is subject to a fine not to exceed $100. Such an infraction may be reported to law enforcement.
Q. Whom do I call if I have a customer in my establishment who refuses to stop smoking when I ask?
A. An employer or other person in charge of a public place or public-owned building, or his employee or agent, who observes a person smoking in apparent violation of the Idaho Clean Indoor Act must ask the person to extinguish all lighted tobacco products. If the patron refuses to comply by extinguishing the lighted tobacco product or leaving the premises, the employer may call local law enforcement. The patron is guilty of an infraction and is subject to a fine not to exceed $50.
Q. Whom do I consult if I have questions about my business?
A. We encourage you to first read the law to see how it applies to your business. Click here to read SB 1283. (http://adm.idaho.gov/adminrules/rules/idapa16/0223.pdf) You may want to seek legal counsel. You can also contact the association that represents your business interests, such as the Restaurant and Lodging Association, if you own a restaurant.
Q. Whom do I call if I have questions about the rules?
A. If you have questions about the rules or the rule writing process, contact:
Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
Division of Health, Bureau of Community and Environmental Health
450 W. State Street, 6th Floor Boise, ID 83720-0036
Phone: (208) 334-5927 Toll-Free: (800) 445-8647 Fax: (208) 334-6573