IPCPR Legislative | Restrictions in Idaho

Restrictions in Idaho


Smoking, Age and Sampling Restrictions in Idaho

Idaho law prohibits smoking: in public places, including buildings, offices, shops, restrooms, waiting rooms for means of transportation or common carriers, restaurants, theaters, auditoriums, museums, art galleries, hospitals, libraries, indoor shopping malls, indoor sports arenas, concert halls, airport passenger terminals, elementary or secondary school buildings and educational facilities, retail stores, grocery stores, arcades, barbershops, hair salons, laundromats, sports or fitness facilities, common areas such as lobbies, hallways, restaurants, and other designated dining areas and restrooms of nursing homes, resorts, hotels, motels, bed and breakfast lodging facilities and other similar lodging facilities, licensed child care facilities when any child is present, public means of mass transportation such as vans, trains, taxicabs, and limousines when passengers are present, and within 20 feet of entrances and exits of public buildings and facilities; in publicly-owned buildings or offices; at public meetings; in elevators; and on any bus except a charter bus.


Idaho Code § 39-5503: Prohibitions; exceptions
Idaho Code § 39-5505: Smoking in elevators prohibited
Idaho Code § 39-5510: Smoking on buses
Idaho Code § 39-5502: Definitions


Signs indicating that smoking is prohibited must be conspicuously posted in each elevator and at each entrance to an elevator car or bank of elevators.


Idaho Code § 39-5505: Smoking in elevators prohibited


Nothing in the Clean Indoor Air Act prevents local, county, or municipal governments from adopting ordinances or regulations more restrictive than the provisions contained in state law.


Idaho Code § 39-5511: Local provisions




The following are exempt from the ban on smoking, subject to conditions:

  • Bars
    • A “bar” is any indoor area open to the public operated primarily for the sale and service of alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption and where:
      • the service of food is incidental to the consumption of such beverages, OR
      • no person under the age of 21 years is permitted except as it pertains to employees, musicians, and singers, and all public entrances are clearly posted with signs warning patrons that it is a smoking facility and that persons under 21 years of age are not permitted. “Bar” does not include any area within a restaurant.
    • Retail businesses primarily engaged in the sale of tobacco or tobacco products
    • 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
    • Designated rooms in hotels, motels, bed and breakfast lodging facilities, and other similar lodging facilities
    • Theatrical production sites, if smoking is an integral part of the story in the theatrical production
    • Areas of owner-operated businesses, with no employees other than the owner-operators, that are not commonly open to the public
    • Any office or business, other than child care facilities, located within the proprietor’s private home when all such offices and/or businesses occupy less than 50% of the total area within the private home
    • Idaho state veterans homes that permit smoking in designated areas, provided that physical barriers and ventilation systems are used to reduce smoke in adjacent nonsmoking areas
    • A designated employee breakroom established by a small business owner employing 5 or fewer employees, provided that all of the following conditions are met:
      • The breakroom is not accessible to minors
      • The breakroom is separated from other parts of the building by a floor to ceiling partition
      • The breakroom is not the sole means of entrance or exit to the establishment or its restrooms and is located in an area where no employee is required to enter as part of the employee’s work responsibilities. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “work responsibilities” does not include custodial or maintenance work performed in a breakroom when it is unoccupied, and
      • “Warning: Smoking Permitted” signs are prominently posted in the smoking breakroom and properly maintained by the employer. The letters on such signs shall be at least one (1) inch in height


Idaho Code § 39-5503: Prohibitions; exceptions
Idaho Code § 39-5502: Definitions


Idaho law does not provide a specific application procedure to qualify for exemption from the smoking ban. Localities may have specific requirements.

Individuals under 18 years of age cannot possess, receive, sell, distribute, use, or consume tobacco products, attempt any of the foregoing, or provide false identification, or make any false statement regarding their age in an attempt to obtain tobacco products. A minor may possess but not sell or distribute tobacco products in the course of employment, for duties such as stocking shelves or carrying purchases to customers’ vehicles. Similarly, it is illegal to sell, distribute, or offer tobacco products to a minor.


Idaho Code § 39-5703: Possession, distribution, or use by a minor
Idaho Code § 39-5705: Sale or distribution of tobacco products and electronic cigarettes to a minor


Tobacco retailers may display a sign in each location where tobacco products are sold or distributed. A sign may be clearly visible to the customer and the seller and must state:




Idaho Code § 39-5704(6): Permitting of tobacco product retailers


Nothing in state law prohibits local units of government from passing more stringent ordinances. However, local units of government do not have the power to require a permit or license for the sale or distribution of tobacco products or electronic cigarettes.


Idaho Code § 39-5713: Local ordinances

Federal regulations prohibit free samples of cigarettes and limit free samples of smokeless tobacco products to certain age-restricted venues under several conditions.


Regulations Restricting the Sale, Distribution, and Marketing of Cigarettes, Cigarette Tobacco, and Smokeless Tobacco: Consumer Fact Sheet


In Idaho, it is illegal to sell or distribute tobacco products for free or below the cost of such products to the sellers or distributors of the products for commercial or promotional purposes, to members of the general public in public places, or at public events.


Idaho Code § 39-5707(2): Opened packages and samples


Distribution of tobacco samples is subject to tax and licensing requirements, as the term “sale” includes a gift by a person engaged in the business of selling tobacco products, for advertising, as a means of evading the tobacco products tax, or for any other purposes whatsoever.


Idaho Code § 63-2551(6)


Nothing in state law prohibits local units of government from passing more stringent ordinances. However, local units of government do not have the power to require a permit or license for the sale or distribution of tobacco products or electronic cigarettes.


Idaho Code § 39-5713: Local ordinances

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