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Butt Ban

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Even more smokers will become huddling masses, lighting up outside if a push to ban smoking in bars gains support.

Smokefree Boise announced plans last week to ask the Boise City Council to ban all smoking in bars within the city limits. The group plans to take its request to the council this summer.

A similar statewide ban went into effect last year, keeping smokers out of bowling allies. The argument in that case was that families, including children, often frequent bowling allies, and children should not be subjected to secondhand smoke.

This time, the reasoning centers on the health of those who work in bars, who are forced to suck in an alarming amount of secondhand smoke for hours on end.

Smoking is already banned in restaurants in Idaho, and other states, including Arizona, California and Washington, have banned it in the majority of public buildings.

The number of smokers in Idaho has been dropping in recent years, down to 17.9 percent in 2005 from 22.3 percent in 2000, according to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.