Dear Walston Motors,
There have been quite a few questions on the Ohio Smoking Ban since it passed in November. The provisions of the law apply not only to inside a building (private or public) but also outside and even in employer trucks while employees
are on duty.
The law applies in "public places" and "places of employment" which the Ohio Revised Code defines as:
public place - means an enclosed area to which the public is invited or in which the public is permitted
place of employment - means an enclosed area under the direct or indirect control of an employer that the employer's employees use for work or any other purpose, including but not limited to, offices, meeting rooms, sales, production and storage areas, restrooms, stairways, hallways, warehouses, garages, and
vehicles. An enclosed area as described herein is a place of employment without regard to the time of day or the presence of employees. and that is not a private residence.
As far as how far outside a building the ban takes effect that is not clear. At this time the regulations (the specifics of what the law will cover and how employers and establishments need to do to obey the law) are being written by the Ohio Department of Health. For specifics on how far outside a building or from a building they expect smoking areas to be, you should contact their offices at(NNN) NNN-NNNN. The Ohio Department of Health's website with information on the smoking ban is at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/alerts/ohiosmokingban.aspx
All the law says (you can review the law at http://www.odh.ohio.gov/ASSETS/E56C86E2A29C4C83A9378259578E1573/SFOlaw.pdf)
No proprietor of a public place or place of employment, except as permitted in section 3794.03 of this chapter, shall permit smoking in the public place or place of employment or in the areas directly or indirectly under the control of the proprietor immediately adjacent to locations of ingress or egress to the public place or place of employment.
(B) A proprietor of a public place or place of employment shall ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter any area in which smoking is prohibited under this chapter through entrances, windows, ventilation systems, or other means.
The ban does not apply to an outdoor patio (defined as an area that is either: enclosed by a roof or other overhead covering and walls or
side coverings on not more than two sides; or has no roof or other overhead covering regardless of the number of walls or other side coverings.), as said below:
3794.03 Areas where smoking is not regulated by this chapter.
(F) All outdoor patios shall be physically
separated from an enclosed area. If windows or doors form any part of the partition between an enclosed area and the outdoor patio, the openings shall be closed to prevent the migration of smoke into the enclosed area. If windows or doors do not prevent the migration of smoke into the enclosed area, the outdoor patio shall be
considered an extension of the enclosed area and subject to the prohibitions of this chapter.
Note, however, that the patio should not allow smoke to enter a building and should be kept closed off from the building.
The Ohio ban aims to keep smoke from touching or entering a public place or building. If an open area is close enough to a building, then the employer who owns or works in the building may be required to try to keep smoke out of that area. At this time, only the Ohio Department of Health can give a clear interpretatin on what the law requires.