The RiverStone Board of Health has proposed a rule based on Montana’s Clean Indoor Air Act (CIAA) regarding secondhand smoke and e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). It would apply to “smoking shacks” and outdoor restaurant patios, within 30-feet of a building entrance or opening.
The Montana CIAA already prohibits smoking in enclosed public spaces. The proposed local Clean Indoor Air Rule #7 would:
* Apply existing provisions of Montana’s Clean Indoor Air Act to e-cigarettes and other electronic nicotine delivery systems.
* Keep smoke from coming into buildings by preventing people from smoking within 30-feet of any opening to a public building, including entryways, windows or ventilation systems.
The RiverStone Board of Health, as Yellowstone County’s public health agency, sets public health policy for Yellowstone County and has broad authority to develop and implement local rules. The Board of Health and its policy subcommittee have worked for a year to draft proposed public health Rule #7, according to a RiverStone press release.
Development of the new rule attempts to balance an individual’s personal choice to smoke against the right of non-smokers to breathe smoke-free air, said the press release. The CIAA is aimed at protecting against exposure to secondhand smoke and to third-hand smoke, which is the residual nicotine and other chemicals left on indoor surfaces by tobacco smoke.
The public may make comment on the proposed rule at a public hearing on Wednesday, June 21, 5 p.m. in the first floor conference rooms of the Lil Anderson Center on the RiverStone Health campus.
The proposed rule is posted on RiverStone Health’s website: RiverStoneHealth.org and public comments can be submitted at rule7@ riverstonehealth. org.
The public comment period will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, June 30.
The Board will consider all testimony presented by that date before considering the proposed rule at its July/August meeting, the date for which will be set at the June hearing.
Consistent with enforcement of the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, enforcement of Rule #7 will be triggered by complaints. If adopted, the rule would go into effect approximately 60 days after being adopted and would apply throughout Yellowstone County.
Other Montana counties that have already restricted the use of e-cigarettes in public places include: Carbon County, Lewis and Clark County, Powell County, Sanders County and Granite County.