On July 1, 2012, the statewide smoke-free law goes into effect. Smoking is prohibited in place of employment, public places and restaurants.
Smoking is permitted in bars and taverns, cigar bars, Hookah bars, state and licensed gaming facilities and licensed horse track facilities. Smoking in cars is permitted as well.
If minors under the age of 21, who are not employees of the establishment, are permitted into any portion of the establishment at any time, restaurants must be smoke free. If the entire establishment is 21 and over, the establishment may allow smoking. Restaurants that only allow individuals 21 and up to enter the establishment can allow smoking.
Most workplaces, except for bars, taverns, membership clubs, tobacco retail shops, cigar bars, hookah bars, casinos and satellite or off track betting facilities, will be smoke-free by July 1, 2012.
The distance from the entrance of the building an individual can smoke is at least 8 feet from the entrance of the building.
Fraternity and private clubs may allow smoking in their facility if they meet the following requirements: 501(c)3, established as a club or fraternity under the law, provides food and alcoholic beverages to only its members and their guests, vote every two years to allow smoking by its members during business meetings, provide a separate, enclosed, designated smoking room, which is ventilated, and only allow 18 and older to enter.
Secondhand smoke is a serious public health issue. This law is to protect individuals from the dangers of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 substances including 200 known poisons and 43 cancer-causing agents. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified secondhand smoke as a cause of cancer in humans (Group A carcinogen). The bill can be found: http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2012....
The new law is enforced by The Alcohol & Tobacco Commission, The State Department of Health, Local Health Departments, A Health & Hospital Corporation (Marion County), The Division of Fire and Building Safety established with the Department of Security and law enforcement officers.
Specific penalties for violating the smoke-free law include: A person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited by the state law commits prohibited smoking, a Class B infraction. If the person has to be adjudged to have committed at least three prior unrelated infractions, the person commits prohibited smoking, Class A infraction. The owner, manager, operator or official in charge of a public place or place of employment who fails to comply with requirements of the state law commits Class B infractions. If the owner, manager, operator or official has been adjudged to have committed at least three prior unrelated infractions under the state law, failure to comply is a Class A infraction.
An infraction is a violation of an ordinance or statute that does not subject the person to a criminal conviction or jail time. A speeding ticket would be an example of an infraction. Signs will be required at all public entrances of enclosed public places and places of employment. An owner, operator, manager or official in charge of a public place or place of employment shall post conspicuous signs at each public entrance that read "State Law Prohibits Smoking Within 8 Feet of this Entrance" or other similar language.
The owner, operator, manager or official in charge of an establishment or premises in which smoking is allowed under this section shall post conspicuous signs in the establishment that read "WARNING: Smoking is Allowed in this Establishment" or other similar language. If a local law covers more workplaces than the state law, the local law remains in effect, as is the case with the Terre Haute policy, which does include bars and taverns.
"Greencastle and Terre Haute both have city ordinances that are more effective than the State's policy.
Those city policies will supersede the State's law.
Although under the state law, bars are permitted to allow smoking, the bars in Terre Haute and Greencastle are not exempt from the local policies and smoking is prohibited", says Alia Hazel, Director of the Terre Haute Tobacco Prevention and Cessation.
Also, if a local law does not cover as many workplaces or is less restrictive than the state law, the state law controls. It is in the power of the local community to adopt a stronger smoke-free law than the state smoke free law.
Kandace Brown, director of the Clay County Tobacco Coalition and Cessation, states she is glad to know workers in restaurants will soon be protected from second-hand smoke.
"This is not the comprehensive ordinance the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Agency had worked toward in hope of obtaining protection for all workers. In fact, it is a weak smoke-free workplace law compared to our neighboring states.
That being said, I am glad to continue my work with like-minded organizations to promote smoke-free cars and smoke-free home pledges and will continue to educate on the dangers of smoking, second-hand smoke and third-hand residual smoke. Policy requires change in behavior for the betterment of the majority. Education promotes change in behavior by connecting the heart and the mind to better understanding."