Missoula City Council stockimage

Missoula City Council Chambers.

The Missoula City Council took another step toward approving a law restricting smoking and vaping in public indoor and outdoor areas Monday night.

The ordinance would ban vaping and e-cigarette use indoors and allow business owners to ban smoking outdoors within 25 feet of their entrances.

Banning smoking outside of a business is optional, according to the ordinance. It would be up to each business owner to put up signs and handle low-level enforcement. A $100 fine is possible and no jail time is allowed as a penalty.

The ordinance broadening the Montana Clean Indoor Air Act also would outlaw smoking in certain city-managed public areas like playgrounds, sports fields, Silver’s Lagoon and the duck ponds on Bancroft Street, along with other areas.

The city is also proposing the law take effect in a five-mile radius outside city limits, with approval from the Missoula County Board of Commissioners.

The council voted unanimously to set a Feb. 26 public hearing discussing the ordinance.

The Commissioners will decide whether to allow the law in county land after the city makes a decision.

Amid the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeonChang, South Korea, Mayor John Engen proclaimed Feb. 17 Darian Stevens Day, in honor of the Missoula native Olympic skier.

Stevens was a member of the Missoula Freestyle skiing team, and Director Donovan Power spoke Monday night.

“She was an athlete that, from a very young age, was going bigger than anyone else,” Power said. “It quickly became clear that she was going to be something special.”

She “shows our kids and our community that they can do basically whatever they want.”

Slopestyle qualifying and final runs are Feb. 16.

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City, County Government Reporter

Government reporter for the Missoulian.