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Smoking Regulations in Idaho

Title 39, Chapter55 of the Idaho Code Statutes states that the intent of the chapter is to protect the public health, comfort and environment, the health of employees who work at public places and the rights of nonsmokers to breathe clean air by prohibiting smoking in public places and at public meetings.[i]

Under the laws of Idaho, smoking in any elevator generally accessible to the public is prohibited. Signs indicating that smoking is prohibited should be conspicuously posted in each elevator and at each entrance to an elevator car or bank of elevators.[ii]  Idaho also prohibits smoking of tobacco or other products in all bus, except a charter bus. [iii] A person smoking tobacco or other products on a bus, except a charter bus shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be punished.[iv]

The law of Idaho generally prohibits a person from smoking in a public place, publicly-owned building or office, or at a public meeting.[v]  However, smoking is permitted in smoking areas or designated smoking areas of bars,[vi] retail businesses primarily engaged in the sale of tobacco or tobacco products[vii], buildings owned and operated by social, fraternal, or religious organizations when used by the membership of the organization, their guests or families, or any facility that is rented or leased for private functions from which the public is excluded and for which arrangements are under the control of the sponsor of the function.[viii]

Smoking is also permitted in guest rooms designated as smoking rooms in hotels, motels, bed and breakfast lodging facilities, and other similar lodging facilities,[ix] in theatrical production sites, if smoking is an integral part of the story in the theatrical production[x] and in areas of owner-operated businesses, with no employees other than the owner-operators, that are not commonly open to the public.[xi]

Smoking is permitted in office or business, except child care facilities, located within the proprietor’s private home when all such offices and/or businesses occupy less than fifty percent (50%) of the total area within the private home,[xii] in Idaho state veterans homes, that permit smoking in designated areas[xiii] as well as in designated employee breakroom established by a small business owner employing five (5) or fewer employees.[xiv]  However in case of such breakrooms, it must not be accessible to minors,[xv] it should be separated from other parts of the building by a floor to ceiling partition,[xvi] and it  should not be the sole means of entrance or exit to the establishment or its restrooms and should be located in an area where no employee is required to enter as part of the employee’s work responsibilities.[xvii] The breakrooms should also have warning signs stating that smoking is permitted, posted and properly maintained by the employer.[xviii] The letters on such signs shall be at least one (1) inch in height.

However there is no legal requirement on the employer to provide reasonable accommodation to smokers, or to provide breakrooms for smokers or nonsmokers[xix] and the employer can at any time prohibit smoking in an enclosed place of employment.[xx]

§ 39-5506 deals with responsibilities of the employers.  Employers or other person in charge of a public place or publicly-owned building or office shall not permit the smoking of tobacco products within the premises.[xxi]  If any such person violates the laws regarding smoking in such areas, he or she will be subject to a fine not to exceed one hundred dollars ($ 100).[xxii]

An employer who discharges or in any manner discriminates against an employee because that employee has made a complaint or has given information to the department of health and welfare or the department of labor shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than one thousand dollars ($ 1,000) nor more than five thousand dollars ($ 5,000) for each violation.[xxiii]

An employer, or other person in charge of a public place or publicly-owned building, or the agent or employee of such person, who observes a person smoking, can ask the person to extinguish all lighted tobacco products. [xxiv]  If the person persists in his behavior, the employer or person in charge can ask the person to leave the premises.  The person who refuses to either extinguish all lighted tobacco products or leave the premises is subject to a fine not to exceed Seventeen dollars and fifty cents($ 17.50). These violations can be reported to a law enforcement officer also.[xxv]

Title 02, Chapter 23 of the Idaho Administrative Code states about “Rules Governing Indoor Smoking.”[xxvi]  The purpose of these rules is to protect the public health, comfort and environment, and the health of employees who work at public places, and the rights of nonsmokers to breathe clean air by prohibiting smoking in public places and at public meetings.[xxvii]  

[i] Idaho Code § 39-5501(2)

[ii] Idaho Code § 39-5505

[iii] Idaho Code § 39-5510(1)

[iv] Idaho Code § 39-5510

[v] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)

[vi] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(a)

[vii] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(b)

[viii] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(c)

[ix] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(d)

[x] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(e)

[xi] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(f)

[xii] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(g)

[xiii] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(h)

[xiv] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(i)

[xv] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(i)(i)

[xvi] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(i)(ii)

[xvii] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(i)(iii)

[xviii] Idaho Code § 39-5503(1)(i)(iv)

[xix] Idaho Code § 39-5503(2)

[xx] Idaho Code § 39-5503(3)

[xxi] Idaho Code § 39-5506(1)

[xxii] Idaho Code § 39-5506(2)

[xxiii] Idaho Code § 39-5506(3)

[xxiv] Idaho Code § 39-5507

[xxv] Id

[xxvi] IDAPA

[xxvii] IDAPA

Inside Smoking Regulations in Idaho