Current as of
2009, in the public interest
The law was passed in 1990; with some amendments in later years such as to make schools no-smoking at all times, and most recently in 2009 to require all restaurants and bars to be no-smoking at all times unless there is a separate walled off smoking room with separate ventilation.
Virginia Group to Alleviate Smoking in Public
The Virginia Indoor Clean Air Act was passed in 1990.
workplace, agency, etc. may be
The state law presents only the bare minimum that is required.
There is no legal requirement to provide a smoking area.
No one is required to provide a smoking area.
SMOKING IS TOTALLY PROHIBITED IN:
and Indoor Cashier Lines
This includes persons on BOTH sides of the counter or desk, employee and customer. Includes bakery, deli, salad bar, information, customer service desk, etc.
Hospital Emergency Rooms
Indoor Elevators, regardless of capacity
Polling Rooms (where you vote)
Local or District Health Departments
Public restrooms of buildings the state government owns, operates, and/or leases
Public restrooms of health care facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, boarding homes, adult homes, supervised living facilities, ambulatory medical & surgical centers)
Licensed Day Care centers not in private homes
Public School Buses
Schools No smoking at
time by anyone amendment passed in 2002.
SMOKING IS TOTALLY PROHIBITED IN RESTAURANTS AND BARS unless a separate room with separate ventilation to the outside, preferably with an outside entrance, is constructed for smoking, and no staff is to be required to work in that room.
NO SMOKING signs must be posted and visible.
NO-SMOKING Areas Are Additionally REQUIRED in:
State buildings: public and workplace areas, excepting Dept. of Corrections workplace areas
Local government buildings: public and workplace areas
Retail stores & recreational facilities (indoor stadium, arena, skating rink, video game facility, senior citizen rec. facility) 15,000 sq. ft. or more
Educational facilities (Day Care, nursery schools, public & private schools, colleges, universities, medical, law, or vocational schools)
Health care facilities (hospitals, nursing homes, boarding homes, adult homes, supervised living facilities, ambulatory medical & surgical centers)
restaurants of 50 seats or more were required to have at least a
no-smoking area, or they could be completely no-smoking. See the 2009 amendment.
IT IS AGAINST THE LAW TO SMOKE IN A NO-SMOKING AREA.
The law prohibits smoking in a No-Smoking area. If the smoker persists in smoking after being asked to stop, this is a civil violation, and a $25 penalty may be levied.
HOW DOES THE LAW DEFINE SMOKING?
The law defines smoking as "the carrying or holding of any lighted pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind, or any other lighted smoking equipment, or the lighting, inhaling, or exhaling of smoke from a pipe, cigar, or cigarette of any kind."
POSTING OF SIGNS
Signs must be
posted in ordinary public
The signs and the writing or international No Smoking symbol must be large enough to be visible at all times, not hidden by stock, etc.
A business or building that is smoke-free should post signs so indicating at the entrance. Signs posted inside serve as reminders.
If smoking is permitted in the building, signs stating "No Smoking" must be posted at all appropriate places such as elevators, checkout lines, etc. "Smoking Permitted" signs should be posted in the appropriate place.
Restaurants with no-smoking and smoking areas must display a "No-Smoking Section Available" sign at the public entrance.
There is a civil penalty of $25 for not posting the "No Smoking" signs as required by law.
EXEMPTIONS TO THE STATE LAW:
Material hoist elevators are not required to be no-smoking. (Amendment, 1991).
warehouses, retail tobacco stores,
and tobacco manufacturing plants are not required to have no-smoking
WHAT IF SMOKING IS PERMITTED?
Any workplace, business, government agency, etc. may be smoke-free.
No one is required to have a smoking area.
If smoking is permitted, that area "shall not encompass so much of the building, structure, space, place, or area open to the general public that reasonable no-smoking areas, considering the nature of the use and the size of the building, are not provided;" and these smoking areas "shall be separate to the extent reasonably practicable from those rooms or areas entered by the public in the normal use of the particular business or institution;" and that "ventilation systems and existing physical barriers shall be used when reasonably practicable to minimize the permeation of smoke into no-smoking areas."
YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO WALK THROUGH SMOKE TO REACH THE NO-SMOKING AREA
The law does not require smoking areas, but the law DOES require NO SMOKING areas. See above.
WHAT ABOUT ENFORCEMENT?
Any law enforcement officer may issue a summons for any violation of this law.
A few localities have local ordinances, and these specify the enforcement process, which simplifies the procedure.
Otherwise, any individual or business may call or write the local police, the state police, sheriff, county or city attorney, or the Commonwealth's attorney to report violations.
For example, someone may call the local sheriff or police to report that a particular business or government agency refuses to post the appropriate NO SMOKING signs, or permits people to smoke in the NO SMOKING area. The law enforcement officials may decide to issue a summons, or may issue a verbal warning. Free signs are available from the number on this brochure cover. If local law enforcement officials refuse to act, the citizen may call the state police.
If you see someone smoking in the NO SMOKING areas, you may wish to ask the manager or supervisor to deal with the situation. If they refuse, you may report them to any law enforcement officer.
Citizens are permitted to file a warrant through the General District Court against any business or agency which has violated the law.
HOW CAN A BUSINESS AVOID VIOLATIONS?
government agencies are
to have the NO SMOKING signs conspicuously posted.
If an employee
or customer is smoking in a
no-smoking area, that is against the law, and managers could ask them
refrain from unlawful behavior, and if that behavior persists, they may
call a law enforcement officer to assist. Businesses have reported
in litter by placing ashtrays either outside the building for
places, or only at the smoking area.
and managers should make themselves aware of the health dangers to
employees and patrons from secondhand and thirdhand smoke.
WHAT ABOUT THE WORKPLACE?
Any workplace may be smoke-free.
No one is required to provide smoking areas.
The state and local government workplaces must provide no-smoking areas in addition to elevators, service and cashier lines. Only the Department of Corrections in its workplace area is exempted from the state and local government workplace requirement. They may also be smoke-free.
The Virginia State Code in Section 40.1-51.1 states that every employee has the right to a workplace free from recognized hazards.
LOCAL ORDINANCES IN VIRGINIA
Local ordinances passed before January 1, 1990, remain intact.
the counties of:
the cities of:
These were grandfathered into the state law.
laws are often more
than state law.
For example, nursing homes must prohibit smoking in all areas except private rooms in some localities.
The penalty in some localities for violations is a Class 4 misdemeanor and a $100 fine.
As of 1990, all Virginia localities are prohibited from passing laws more protective than state law, but may outline enforcement and administrative procedures.