Smoking in areas where it is prohibited by law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine. Public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, that prohibit smoking tobacco in certain spaces are known as smoking bans. 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. Eleven studies have concluded that communities see an immediate reduction in heart attack admissions following the implementation of comprehensive anti-smoking laws.
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has determined that 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 addition to the remedies provided for in the provisions of this section, local health departments, municipal administrators, county administrators, and anyone aggrieved by the fact that the owner, operator, manager, or other person who controls a public place or workplace does not comply with the provisions of this Act may seek injunctive measures to enforce those provisions in any court of competent jurisdiction. During periods of active smoking, maximum and average levels of outdoor tobacco smoke (OTS) measured in cafés and patios of restaurants and outdoor bars near smokers rival indoor tobacco smoke concentrations. Following an assessment of the health hazards of Las Vegas casino employees' exposure to second-hand smoke in the workplace, which included indoor air quality testing and biomarker evaluations, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) concluded that casino employees are exposed to dangerous levels of second-hand smoke at work and that their bodies absorb high levels of specific tobacco chemicals (NNK) and cotinine during work shifts.
In Florida, state law prevents local governments from enacting stricter smoking bans than state ones. However, some cities and counties in Idaho, Indiana and Louisiana have enacted stricter local smoking bans to varying degrees, in some cases banning smoking in all closed workplaces. Studies that measure cotinine (metabolized nicotine) and NNAL (metabolized nitrosamine NNK, a specific carcinogen in tobacco related to lung cancer) in hospitality workers show dramatic decreases in the levels of these biomarkers after the entry into force of an anti-smoking law. 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.
In ten other states, cities and counties have enacted more stringent smoking laws than the state. In some cases, they prohibit smoking in all enclosed workplaces. Numerous economic analyses that examined restaurant and hotel revenues and controlled for economic variables showed no difference or had a positive economic impact following the enactment of laws requiring workplaces to be smoke-free. Numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke contributes greatly 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.
In addition to the remedies provided in this section, local health departments, municipal administrators, county administrators, and anyone aggrieved 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 Surgeon General's Report states that even occasional exposure to second-hand smoke is harmful and low levels of exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke cause a rapid and sharp increase in dysfunction and inflammation of the lining of blood vessels which are implicated in heart attacks and strokes. Less than twenty feet away from entrances, operable windows and ventilation systems in enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited must be kept free from tobacco smoke. 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 although some cities and counties in some of those states have enacted local versions of the state's smoking ban. Business owners have no legal or constitutional right to expose their employees and customers to the toxic chemicals in second-hand smoke.