Maryland Smoking: What you need to know

The Clean Indoor Air Act prohibits smoking in all indoor workplaces and places open to the public, including bars, restaurants, private clubs, fraternal organizations, and means of mass transportation ( MD Code Health-Gen. Sec. 24-501et seq. and MD Lab. and Empl. Sec. 5-101et seq.).

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Smoking is also prohibited in all state buildings and vehicles owned and/or operated by the state (Executive Order 01.01.1992.20).

Exemptions. Exempted from the Act are private residences not used for licensed day care or child care; private vehicles; 25 percent of rooms at hotels and motels; tobacco manufacturers, importers, and distributors; and retail tobacco stores where sales of products other than tobacco or accessories are incidental.

Signs. The Act requires that signs be posted in areas where smoking is prohibited.

Compliance information. Employers may call the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) at 866-703-3266 for compliance assistance.

Outdoor smoking. There is also a provision in the Act prohibiting outdoor smoking near entrance, windows, and air intakes. Employers planning on establishing outside shelters or tents for smokers should check that such constructions do not meet the definition of "indoor area." This provision may override local ordinances that allow smoking in outdoor seating areas of restaurants.

Enforcement. The Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation enforces the Act. Local health departments will respond to complaints. Initially, businesses not in compliance will receive a letter of reprimand, but subsequent violations may result in fines of up to $1,000 per violation.

Local Ordinances

County and municipal governments may pass laws and ordinances that are stricter than the ...

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