Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Friday, December 02, 2011

Expanded Non-Smoking Boise City Ordinance: What citizens should know

12-01-11 Expanded Non-Smoking Boise City Ordinance: What citizens should know

    Boise, Dec. 1, 2011 - The Boise City Council has approved two ordinances placing additional restrictions on smoking in public places. 

    ORDINANCES: The first ordinance, which passed with a 5-0 vote this week, bans smoking in bars and private clubs, near bus stops or other transit areas, on outdoor commercial patios accessible to children or on public property, at the Grove Plaza, on 8th Street from Bannock to Main streets, within 20 feet of a City of Boise-owned building, in outdoor ticket and service lines, and in other public locations.  

    The second ordinance bans smoking in all public parks - including within 20 feet of the Boise Greenbelt - except in designated areas within Ann Morrison and Julia Davis parks and the Warm Springs Golf Course. That ordinance passed with a 4-1 vote.

    Both ordinances will go into effect on Jan. 2, 2012. See the news release issued by the Officer of Mayor David Bieter yesterday. The release from the Mayor's office give very detailed information on the new ordinance, including ordinance details, enforcement, and business requirements. The release also contains links to the compelling public health issues behind the ordinance. 

    "Our community is friendly," said Adam Park, spokesperson for Mayor David Bieter in an interview this week on KBOI, Channel 2 TV. "If people light up, they'll be asked to put out the cigarette, and they'll generally comply."

    ENFORCEMENT:  Boise PD patrol supervisors are currently working on a training protocol for officers who may get asked about the ordinance or called to respond to a possible violation. City leaders do not expect any enforcement problems. The mayor's office says when restrictions on smoking in Boise restaurants went into effect several years ago, few, if any, citations were issued. Police supervisors do not expect the new smoking ordinances to have any noticeable impact on police resources or calls for service. Anyone who wishes to report a violation of the ordinance should call non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790.

   According to the ordinances, enforcement will be done with an emphasis on compliance.  If a violator complies with a request to extinguish his/her cigarette, then a citation will not be issued. However, if the violator refuses to extinguish his/her cigarette - or if a violator is found to repeatedly flout the ordinance - police will be notified and a citation will be issued.

    Members of the Boise Bike Unit, as well as patrol officers will be responsible for education and enforcement on the ordinances in Boise Parks and along the Boise Greenbelt. The Bike Patrol Unit is very active and effective in educating citizens about a variety of city and parks ordinances.

    Click here for more on penalties for intentionally violating the ordinances.

    EDUCATION: The new non-smoking ordinances do not go into effect until January 2, 2012, allowing time to educate citizens about how to comply. Any business where smoking is prohibited is obligated to conspicuously place "No Smoking" signs or symbols at every entrance. Those signs are being offered to businesses FREE by the Central District Health Department in Boise and Project Filter.