Proposed Boise Smoking Ban Goes Too Far, Says Premium Cigar Group

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When the Boise, Idaho city council considers a new city ordinance that would prohibit smoking in more public places than are currently included in the state ban, they should consider the rationale behind the proposal as well as the consequences, suggested the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

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"It's the tyranny of the majority.... If you ask the right questions the wrong way, you will get a majority that favors such a draconian smoking ban. That doesn't make it the right thing to do."

When the Boise, Idaho city council considers a new city ordinance tomorrow that would prohibit smoking in more public places than are currently included in the state ban, they should consider the rationale behind the proposal as well as the consequences, suggested the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.

Council is considering Smoke Free Air Ordinances that, if passed, would add new restrictions to state laws that already ban smoking in public areas like restaurants to include bars and other workplaces like home-based businesses and tobacco shops. Proponents of the ordinance base their case on alleged health effects of secondhand smoke and surveys that show Boise citizens favor such a ban.

“It’s the tyranny of the majority,” said Bill Spann, chief executive officer of the IPCPR. “There are more non-smokers than smokers, so if you take a poll and ask the right questions the wrong way, you will get a majority that favors such a draconian smoking ban. That doesn’t make it the right thing to do.”

Spann noted that the framers of the United States Constitution wrote about how important it is to protect minority groups from being run over roughshod by the majority.

“Most cigar stores are family-owned small businesses led by mom-and-pop operators who are pillars of the communities they serve, providing thousands of jobs and paying millions of dollars annually in payroll, sales and excise taxes. Revenues will be down, jobs will be lost and businesses will suffer because of legislated bans,” Spann, said.

“We are against legislated smoking bans of any kind but are in favor of allowing business owners their right to determine the smoking policy in their own establishments,” he added.

Prohibitionists say there is no safe level of secondhand smoke and they point to alleged effects it has on workers and patrons of businesses that permit smoking on the premises.

“There is a safe level of secondhand smoke and it was established by OSHA – the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor. OSHA has set safe levels of secondhand smoke that are as much as 25,000 times higher than levels of secondhand smoke found in restaurants and bars that permit smoking,” he said.

So, Spann asks, if secondhand smoke is not an issue and business owners have the right to declare the smoking policy of their own businesses, why should legislated smoking bans exist?

“People are misinformed. For years they have been inundated with erroneous data and false statistics which are unsupported by true science,” he suggested.

Contact:    
Tony Tortorici
678-493-0313

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