This page provides resources that Helena businesses and organizations can use to develop a policy to protect patrons and employees from secondhand smoke outside their place of business.
In 2019, Helena officials, health and business advocates, and business owners worked together to draft A Resolution Establishing Voluntary Outdoor Smoke-Free Areas and Enhanced Practices to Reduce Outdoor Secondhand Smoke Exposure in Public Places.(PDF, 14KB) The City-County Board of Health and the Helena City Commission approved the resolution in the summer of 2019.
The resolution encourages businesses and organizations to create workable policies to protect their patrons and employees from secondhand smoke. It takes into consideration that some businesses want to accommodate smoking patrons and employees by setting up outdoor smoking areas – and that nonsmoking patrons and employees might not be able to avoid breathing tobacco smoke wafting from them.
The resolution doesn’t eliminate outside smoking areas. Instead, it encourages businesses and organizations to take a closer look at how such areas affect the air their patrons and employees breathe. It asks them to adopt individual business policies that work for them.
Such a policy could mean banning smoking entirely anywhere on the business premises or setting a distance from the entrance beyond which patrons and employees can smoke. Any policy must comply with the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act, which already prohibits smoking inside public places.
Help Us Celebrate Your Healthier Business
If your business or organization has adopted a policy to protect your patrons and employees from outside smoke, we would love to recognize and celebrate your healthy decision by sharing your name and logo on this page. Let us know who you are -- and help us track the difference the resolution makes in our community -- by taking this short survey.
Survey: Let Us Know How Your Smoking-Distance Policy Is Working