The requirements of the Ohio Smoke-Free Workplace rules are specified in Ohio Administrative Code Chapter 3701-52.
The law applies to all enclosed public places and workplaces. If an establishment has an employee or invites members of the public to enter, the establishment shall be smoke-free. An owner of a business must also ensure that smoking outside the building is far enough away from doorways or windows so that smoke does not enter the enclosed area. Generally, the law does not apply to homes, cars, or outdoor areas. Exemptions from the law include certain retail tobacco stores, resident-only smoking rooms in nursing homes, up to 20% of sleeping rooms in a hotel, and narrowly-defined private clubs. Private clubs that have employees (either paid or volunteer employees) must comply with the law.
A business proprietor must address the major requirements of the statute, including:
- Prohibiting smoking in any enclosed public places or places of employment, and areas near windows and doors.
- Posting conspicuous signs in every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited, including at each entrance. The statute requires these signs to say "No Smoking" or have the "No Smoking" international symbol (consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it). The signs shall be clearly legible and contain a toll free number for reporting violations.
- Removing all ash trays and other receptacles used for disposing of smoking materials from any area where smoking is prohibited by the statute.
As required by Revised Code Section 3794.06, signs must include the toll free number for reporting violations [1-866-559-OHIO (6446)].
In addition to the toll-free enforcement line, ODH has established an information line to be used for general information concerning the law and non-enforcement related questions. The toll-free information line is 1-866-ODH-7654 (1-866-634-7654).
Business owners and persons smoking who are in violation of the law after enforcement begins would get a warning letter. Smokers who repeatedly violate the law could face civil fines of up to $100. Businesses that violate the law face fines starting at $100, but the fine could escalate for repeated violations in a 2-year period, up to $2500.
Further information and downloadable versions of acceptable signs are available at the Ohio Department of Health website http://www.odh.ohio.gov/alerts/ohiosmokingban.aspx.