06/27/12 In less than a week, Indiana’s first statewide smoking ban will take effect. Since Gov. Mitch Daniels signed the bill into law on March 19, there has been some confusion about how provisions will impact businesses, fraternal clubs and everyday Hoosiers.
Starting on July 1, House Enrolled Act 1149 prohibits smoking statewide in public places, businesses, state vehicles, school buses and areas within 8 feet of public entrances. Under certain circumstances, exemptions are in place for the following establishments:
- Gaming facilities
- Stand-alone bars and taverns
- Retail tobacco stores
- Cigar and Hookah bars
- Private clubs
- Cigar manufacturing facilities
- Home businesses
While the above-mentioned places are allowed exemptions, smoking is still banned within those common areas where minors are permitted, such as hallways and elevators. These establishments are also required to provide a statement to the Alcohol & Tobacco Commission (ATC) in order to verify their exemption prior to July 1.
Those businesses not exempt are required to remove indoor ashtrays and smoking related materials, and staff must direct any person found smoking a cigarette, cigar or any other tobacco item to discard it. Establishments affected by the smoking ban are also required to post signs informing patrons whether smoking is or isn’t allowed inside.
To help Hoosiers better understand the details of the smoking ban, the ATC has created “Frequently Asked Questions” documents for residents, businesses and fraternal clubs. State-approved signs can be found at www.in.gov/atc.
Business owners are in charge of their establishments and are responsible for ensuring that all employees and customers obey the law. The smoking ban will be enforced by the following agencies:
- Local health departments
- Law enforcement officers
If you have any further questions about how the smoking ban relates to your establishment, please contact your State Senator or call the Senate at 1-800-382-9467.