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Employers - Enforcing the Smoking Ban

Enforcing the Smoking Ban

  1. Owner/managers shall not permit smoking inside a public place or place of employment, or other area declared no smoking, or permit tobacco smoke to enter the nonsmoking area through an entrance, window, door, vent, etc. Due to a 10th District Court of appeals decision on December 31, 2007, Private Clubs are not exempt from this law and must comply with the smoking ban.

  2. Owners/managers must remove ashtrays from the no smoking areas, including any container(s) used to dispose of smoking materials such as a can, bottle, cup, etc.

  3. Smokers must immediately discontinue smoking (public place, place of employment, or other area that is declared no smoking) when requested to do so by the proprietor or employee of the public place or place of employment.

  4. No person shall retaliate against someone for reporting a violation, enforcing the law, investigating a complaint, or performing any other duty required under this law.

Have a Written Smoking Policy

A written smoking policy should outline where smoking is prohibited and may designate specific areas where smoking is permitted. The policy should prescribe consequences/penalties when the policy is violated. It should be posted and may be provided to employees, patrons and guests. It may be necessary to provide employee training on the specifics of the policy and document receipt and understanding of the policy and their responsibilities. View a sample smoking policy here.

Suggest an area where smoking is permitted

When someone is smoking in a no smoking area, the proprietor must ask the person to immediately stop smoking or to leave the no smoking area. Direct the smoker to an area where smoking is permitted, such as a designated smoking area or an outdoor patio that meets the requirements to permit smoking.


All “public places” and “places of employment” must also remove all ashtrays and other smoking receptacles, pursuant to section 3794.06 (B) of the Ohio Revised Code.

In other words, affected entities must 1) prohibit smoking; 2) post “No Smoking” signs including the telephone number
1-866-559-OHIO (6446) for reporting of violations; and 3) remove all ashtrays and other smoking receptacles.

Contact the Ohio Department of Health:

  • I would like help developing an official smoking policy for my establishment (call 1-866-559-OHIO (6446) or email nosmoke@odh.ohio.gov)    


Chapter 3794 of the Ohio Revised Code

Fact Sheet: Ohio Smoke-Free Workplace Law In Public Places and Places of Employment