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Last week the Meridian Press ran letters from some readers on the topic of making Meridian smoke free in businesses as well as a poll from the group SmokeFree Idaho. This week the Meridian Press would like to run a response from Mayor Tammy de Weerd on the topic of smoking in Meridian.

You can send us your opinions on this or other topics. Letters can be submitted to zchastaine@idahopress.com. Please limit submissions to 300 words.

Thank you for reaching out to the city of Meridian

The city of Meridian has a no-smoking policy for our employees as well as in our public spaces. Our parks have a smoke-free policy limiting smoking to parking lots and we have addressed e-cigarettes by defining them among the identified tobacco/nicotine products that are prohibited on city properties.

Along with our policies, both the Mayors Youth Advisory Council and the Mayors Anti-Drug Coalition have been very active with public outreach programs for tobacco as well as illegal substances.

Taking a no smoking policy further than what we have already acted on has been discussed by our City Council, MYAC, MADC, through citizen commissions and public forums. We have surveyed this topic in great detail. At this point, expanding the no smoking policy to private property has not been identified as a Meridian specific issue or concern. The consensus has been that smoke-free policies beyond what we have done locally are best addressed at the state level.

We currently have a very small percentage of businesses that allow smoking in their place of business. Our public can make a strong statement by supporting businesses that are smoke free.

Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts. I agree we must be vigilant in providing for a safe and healthy community for our kids — I am very committed to this through many public and personal involvements.

Warm regards,

Mayor Tammy

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