Emptying the Ashtrays: Smoking Ban Begins Today



This is the day that, depending on whether you smoke, will be accepted with cheers or jeers.

Boise's new anti-smoking ordinances go into effect today, banning smoking in all bars and private clubs, near bus stops and transit areas, on outdoor commercial patios, the Grove Plaza and within 20 feet of city-owned buildings. Smoking is also banned in all city parks, save for two small designated smoking sections in Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks.

For the past month, BW has spent a fair amount of time canvassing patrons and barkeeps who had widely varying opinions of the new rules.

"I'll probably lose 25 percent of my business," said Lynn Howell, owner of 10th Street Station.

"I get a smoke hangover from working here," said Matt Thompson, a bartender at Neurolux.

"It's infringing on my rights," said Jared Maylin, patron at Liquid. "It's like french fries and ketchup. Smoking and drinking go hand in hand."

"I think smokers in general are going to be pissed off about it," said Cameron Smith, bartender at The Balcony.

Boise police will be observing a "30-day grace/education period" beginning today, not writing tickets for violations of the new ordinances but "educating and warning."

According to a statement from Mayor Dave Bieter's office, after the 30-day period, police will "base their response to citizen complaints on the individual situation. For instance, if the person extinguishes the cigarette prior to police arrival, no enforcement action will generally be taken. If the smoker persists after a warning, however, he or she may be cited. Active patrols for smoking violations will not be a priority, but officers will respond if dispatched."

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