Smoking bans are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, that forbid smoking tobacco in certain spaces. The United States Congress has not attempted to pass any type of federal ban on smoking in workplaces and public places at the national level, so such policies are completely a product of state and local laws. In Oklahoma and Virginia, state laws prevent local governments from regulating smoking more strictly than the state, making those states among the least in the country with no legal ban on smoking. In Connecticut, Florida, Montana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin, state law prevents local governments from enacting stricter smoking bans than state ones. However, some cities and counties in some of those states have implemented local versions of the state's smoking ban.
In addition to the remedies provided in this section, local health departments, municipal administrators, county administrators, and anyone affected by a breach of this law by the owner, operator, manager, or other person who controls a public place or workplace may seek injunctive measures to enforce those provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction. The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has reviewed eleven studies that concluded that communities observe an immediate reduction in heart attack admissions following the implementation of comprehensive anti-smoking laws. The data consistently demonstrate that exposure to second-hand smoke increases the risk of coronary heart disease and heart attacks and that anti-smoking laws reduce heart attacks. In outdoor common areas of apartment buildings, condominiums, RV parks, retirement centers, nursing homes, and other multi-unit residential facilities, except in areas designated for smoking, must not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the total common outdoor area. This area must be located at least twenty (20) feet outside entrances, operable windows, and ventilation systems of enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited. We anticipate a recent decision by the Ohio Supreme Court in favor of PH's activities to enforce this law to improve the recovery of outstanding charges and reduce these pressures on local agencies. In the other ten states, cities and counties have implemented more stringent smoking laws than the state.
In some cases they prohibit smoking in all enclosed workplaces. Numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke contributes significantly to indoor air pollution and that breathing second-hand smoke (also known as ambient tobacco smoke) is a cause of illness in healthy non-smokers such as heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and lung cancer. Attendees were asked about the public reaction if the law was repealed; their experiences talking to business owners about the law; labor issues; barriers to enforcement at the business, institutional and political levels; and the apparent effectiveness and effect of the law on companies. The owner, manager, operator or employee of an area regulated by this law will order the person who smokes in violation of this law to turn off the product being smoked. A person who smokes in an area where smoking is prohibited by this Act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $500.00.