Georgia Smoking: What you need to know

Under the Georgia Smokefree Air Act of 2005, smoking is prohibited in all enclosed public places in the state and within 25 feet of such area in order to ensure that tobacco smoke does not enter the area (GA Code Sec. 31-12A-1et seq.).

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Exemptions. Exempt from the Act are private residences and vehicles (except when used for licensed child care or adult day care), bars and restaurants not admitting persons under age 18, designated meeting rooms in privately owned convention facilities, not more than 20 percent of hotel or motel rooms be designated as smoking-permitted rooms, retail tobacco shops, private and semiprivate residential rooms in nursing homes and long-term care facilities (when all parties agree in writing), smoking areas of international airports, corporate offices of tobacco manufacturers, and outdoor places of employment away from entrances, windows, vents, and air intakes.

Enforcement. The Georgia Department of Public Health (DHR)has the responsibility of enforcing the Act.

Retaliation. The Act prohibits discharge, refusal to hire, or any other type of retaliation against an employee, applicant, or customer who reports or prosecutes a violation of the Act.

Employer Responsibilities

The smoking prohibition must be communicated to all employees and subsequently to all prospective employees upon application for employment.

Ashtrays and smoking paraphernalia must be removed from all areas where smoking is prohibited.

Designated smoking areas (DSAs). Smoking is banned in public and private places of employment except outdoors or in designated smoking areas in nonwork areas that are independently ventilated. Smoking is also prohibited in private homes when used for child care or adult day care; ...

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