Written by Puff Staff

Monday, 03 October 2011

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IPCPR Disagrees with Proposed Smoking Ban in Boise, Idaho


Boise, Idaho, could see increased restrictions on public smoking if City Council approves a new city ordinance that would add to the already strict statewide smoking ban. Dubbed the Smoke Free Air Ordinances, the new restrictions would prohibit smoking in bars, tobacco shops, and home-based businesses. As it stands, Idaho currently bans smoking in restaurants and similar public areas.

One group that will do its best to stop the Smoke Free Air Ordinances from being passed is the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association (IPCPR), which says that the proposed ban not only goes against logic, but would also bring with it several negative consequences. The IPCPR has formidable opposition, as proponents of the ban are using survey statistics from Boise residents to bolster their stance that secondhand smoke produces dangerous health effects.

IPCPR CEO Bill Spann noted that the surveys are biased in terms of sheer numbers, and that minority groups (smokers) must be protected from the majority (non-smokers). “It’s the tyranny of the majority. 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 said in the press release posted on PRWeb.

Spann countered the ban’s proponents claims that all levels of secondhand smoke are harmful to workers and patrons of establishments that allow smoking. He noted: “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.”

While Spann certainly debunked the negative impact of secondhand smoke by citing OSHA’s regulations, he added another reason to reject Boise’s proposed ban. As has been the case with other locations in the United States that have implemented strict bans, Spann believes that the local economy would suffer. “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,” he said.

Rather than instituting bans that govern how adults conduct their daily activities, Spann and the IPCPR believe that business owners should be able to create their own smoking policies. It definitely makes sense, and Boise’s smoking community can only hope that City Council agrees.

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