There is no shortage of controversy surrounding no smoking and no vaping rules and regulations that have swept the country in recent years. As the negative health risks from smoking, vaping, and exposure to secondhand smoke continue to become more widely understood, the debate is more contentious than ever. Since California became the first to enact a statewide smoking ban in 1995, smoking and, more recently, vaping bans, have become increasingly common. The surge in smoke-free establishments began with bars and restaurants and has expanded to include hospitals, college campuses, public parks and sidewalks, workplaces, and even public housing units, among others.
Is Smoking in the Workplace Banned Nationwide?
While there are federal laws in place to protect people from secondhand smoke on federal property and on airplanes, smoking in other areas, including the workplace, is regulated by state and/or local laws. Smoking may be banned in the workplace entirely or restricted to designated smoking areas.
Do Employers Have to Provide Designated Smoking Areas?
An employer is not legally required to provide a smoking area for its employees; however, if it chooses to do so, it must also provide a smoke-free environment throughout the rest of the work space. Additionally, smoking and nonsmoking areas must be clearly designated with proper signage.
Do Workplace Safety Laws Prohibit Smoking in the Workplace?
While the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) does not regulate smoking, it is responsible for prioritizing workplace safety. Industries that handle explosive materials are required by OSHA to clearly post signs alerting everyone in a given area where smoking is strictly prohibited since doing so could cause fire, explosion, serious injury, or death.
Can My Employer Charge Me Higher Insurance Premiums if I Smoke?
Yes, an employer is legally allowed to charge an employee higher healthcare premiums for being a smoker. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the statute responsible for preventing discrimination from many health conditions, allows employers and insurers to charge higher premiums to smokers and reduced premiums for those who do not smoke.
Can I Smoke in Public Areas?
As demand increases for cleaner air in public spaces, smoking bans have been passed for many public areas across the country, including sidewalks, bus stops, parks and other recreational areas, county fairs and farmers’ markets, and outdoor patios, just to name a few. The American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation provides comprehensive lists and maps of smoke-free areas across the US.
Is Vaping Included in No Smoking Laws?
Since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has mandated that all electronic, or e-cigarettes, be regulated as tobacco products, there has been a steady increase in laws across the country banning vaping wherever traditional smoking is prohibited.
Can Public Housing, Apartment Buildings, and Other Rental Properties Prohibit Smoking?
In 2006, the Surgeon General’s Office announced that simply separating smokers and non-smokers in public places was not enough to mitigate the effects of secondhand smoke exposure. Specifically, “cleaning the air and ventilating buildings cannot eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. The only way to do [this] is by banning indoor smoking altogether.” In November, 2016, then HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced that all public housing developments in the US will be required to provide a smoke-free living environment for all residents. This includes all indoor and outdoor areas of each property and smoking will be prohibited within 25 feet of the building or office. This ban officially went into effect on July 31, 2018.
A private rental property landlord can define no smoking rules in and around a rental property by clearly outlining the conditions in the lease agreement. Rules may include no smoking anywhere on the property or include designated smoking areas, such as a yard or pool area. Because smokers are not defined as a protected class under state or federal laws, a landlord is permitted to deny renting to someone who smokes.
At Customsigns.com, our line of no smoking and no vaping signs are ideal for posting throughout buildings or on properties to clearly inform employees and guests that smoking of any kind is prohibited. Our collection also includes a variety of no smoking stencils and design-your-own no smoking signs and vinyl decals. Our Customer Focus Team is here to help you decide which no smoking signs will best meet your needs.
For more information on no smoking laws and proper signage:
Please, No Smoking – Common Smoking Bans
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