Penalties for Violating Smoke Free Law in Ellisville, Mississippi

Smoking bans are public policies, including criminal laws and occupational safety and health regulations, that prohibit smoking tobacco in certain spaces. The United States Congress has not attempted to enact any type of federal ban on smoking in workplaces and public places at the national level. Therefore, such policies are completely a product of state and local laws. In Mississippi, a person commits a crime if they are in possession of a burning tobacco product, smokes tobacco, or operates an e-cigarette in a public elementary or high school facility or in an elevator, enclosed theater or movie theater, library, museum, hospital, transit system, bus, intrastate bus, airplane, or train that is a public place.

An area designated for smoking tobacco or operating an e-cigarette on a bus or plane or intrastate transit system train must also include the area occupied by the bus, plane, or train operator of the transit system. Business owners have no legal or constitutional right to expose their employees and customers to the toxic chemicals in second-hand smoke. In addition to the fines set forth in this law, a violation of this law by a person who owns, manages, operates, or otherwise controls a public place or place of employment may result in the suspension or revocation of any permit or license issued to the person for the premises in which the violation occurred. 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.

It is an exception to the application of this law if the person is in possession of the burning tobacco product, smokes tobacco, or operates the electronic cigarette exclusively within an area designated for smoking tobacco or operating an electronic cigarette or as a participant in an authorized theatrical performance. 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. 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 reviewing eleven (1) studies that 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 concluded 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.

The Surgeon General's Report also 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. In Florida, state law prevents local governments from enacting stricter smoking bans than state ones. However, in Idaho, Indiana and Louisiana some cities and counties have enacted stricter local smoking bans to varying degrees; some even banning smoking in all closed workplaces. In other ten states cities and counties have enacted more stringent smoking laws than the state; some even prohibiting smoking in all enclosed workplaces.

More and more Mississippi cities vote to quit smoking every year recognizing its value it brings to residents and visitors. Less than twenty (20) feet away from entrances, operable windows and ventilation systems in enclosed areas where smoking is prohibited is also required to prevent tobacco smoke from entering those areas. 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. Human fetal tissue acquired solely for discarding it according to state law or regulations applicable to disposal of remnants of human fetal tissue is also exempted from this law.

It is essential for people living in Ellisville Mississippi to be aware of all penalties associated with violating smoke free laws. Business owners should also be aware that they have no legal right to expose their employees and customers to toxic chemicals found in second-hand smoke. Furthermore, it is important for people living in Ellisville Mississippi to be aware that numerous studies have found that tobacco smoke contributes greatly to indoor air pollution.

Delores Clower
Delores Clower

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