(PRESS RELEASE) Montpelier, OH – To promote a healthier community, the Williams County Health Department (WCHD) wants to remind businesses and individuals about recent changes to Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law that was updated by the Ohio legislature on September 30, 2021.
The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) will be mailing materials to all Ohio businesses this week with details about the changes, businesses’ responsibilities, and a cling sign.
In September 2021, updates were made to Ohio Revised Code 3794.01 and 3794.03. The change included an updated definition of smoking to include electronic smoking devices (e-cigarettes) and vapor products.
With this new definition, the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products is no longer permitted indoors, aligning with restrictions imposed on traditional tobacco products like cigarettes.
As the rates of e-cigarette use grew across Ohio, the law was updated to provide protection to the public from the following items that can be found in e-cigarette aerosol: heavy metals such as zinc and nickel, cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene, exhaled nicotine, and ultrafine particles which can harm your heart and lungs.
The updated law will help to better protect the public from secondhand smoke or aerosol. The law includes the following:
-No smoking signs: If you see a sign that says, “No Smoking”, it means that you cannot use e-cigarettes or vape inside. These signs should be posted on all entrances and exits and explicitly include e-cigarette and vaping products.
-Indoor rules: Inside, you cannot use e-cigarettes, vape pens, cigarettes, hookah, or other smoking devices.
-Ashtray removal: All ashtrays must be removed from designated no-smoking areas.
-Exemptions: Businesses may request an exemption, similar to the retail tobacco store exemption, for retail vapor stores. Information on eligibility and the exemption application process can be found at ODH Smoke-Free Workplace Program Exemptions.
WCHD is the local entity that oversees enforcement of the Smoke-Free Workplace Law. WCHD urges local businesses to stay informed and take necessary steps to comply with the updated Smoke-Free Workplace Law.
Together, we can create a healthier and smoke-free, aerosol-free environment for our community. Learn more about Ohio’s Smoke-Free Workplace Law at https://odh.ohio.gov/know-ourprograms/smoke-free-workplace-program.