On Nov. 7, 2006, Ohioans passed Issue 5, Ohio’s first SmokeFree Workplace Act, creating a new chapter of Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3794. Ohio’s SmokeFree Workplace Act creates a uniform statewide minimum standard to protect workers and the public from the health hazards associated with exposure to secondhand smoke from tobacco.
Ohio’s SmokeFree Workplace Act went into effect on Dec. 7, 2006 and enforcement began May 3, 2007. Local health departments receive reports of violations from the Ohio Department of Health and conduct investigations to see if a violation occurred.
How to Comply
The SmokeFree Workplace Act went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 7, 2006 and as of May 3, 2007, businesses and individuals can be fined for violating the law. To comply with the law, businesses must:
- Prohibit smoking in any public place or place of employment.
- Post conspicuous signs in every public place and place of employment where smoking is prohibited, including at each entrance. The statute requires these signs to say “No Smoking” or have the “No Smoking” international symbol (consisting of a pictorial representation of a burning cigarette enclosed in a red circle with a red bar across it). The signs must be clearly legible and shall contain a toll free number for reporting violations.
- Remove all ash trays and other receptacles used for disposing of smoking materials from any area where smoking is prohibited by the statute.
- First violation – warning letter
- Second violation – $100
- Third violation – $500
- Fourth violation – $1,000
- Fifth and subsequent violations – $2,500
- First violation – warning letter
- Second and subsequent violations – $100
For more information about the investigation and appeals process, click here and go to section 3701-52-08, Reports of violations; investigation; findings of violations; appeals.
For more information about civil fines and penalties, click here and go to section 3701-52-09, Civil fines and penalties.
Filing a Complaint
The ODH has established a statewide toll-free hotline for reporting violations to the SmokeFree Workplace Act. If you visit an establishment in Hamilton County and you believe they have violated the law, use one of the following methods to report the violation.
- By Phone – 1-866-559-OHIO (6446)
The Ohio Department of Health’s Toll-free enforcement line. This telephone number must appear on No Smoking signs as required by Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 3794.
- By E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
Report a violation to the Ohio Department of Health 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
When submitting your complaint, please include the following information:
- Nature of the violation (smoking permitted, ash trays on tables, signage not posted, etc.), including the date and approximate time the violation occurred.
- Name of the business or individual alleged to be in violation.
- Complete address with zip code, if known.
- County in which the business or individual is located.
More Information & Enforcement
The ODH has established a Web site and two toll free hotlines to answer your questions concerning enforcement of the law, the law itself and violations. The hotlines are available during normal ODH business hours, Monday through Friday. Messages can be left after business hours.
- Toll-free information line: 1-866-ODH (634)-7654
This line should be used for general information concerning the law or for non-enforcement related questions.
- Information E-mail address: email@example.com.