Vermont Smoking: What you need to know

The Vermont Workplace Smoking Act prohibits smoking in all enclosed private and public workplaces and all government buildings to ensure that they are 100 percent free of tobacco smoke (Tit. 18 Sec. 1421et seq.). Designated smoking areas are not permitted.

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Exemptions. Areas not open to the public at owner-operated businesses with no employees are exempt. Public areas of state veterans' homes are exempt.

Signage. Employers are encouraged to post conspicuous signs indicating that their facilities are smoke-free. A sample sign is available to download at http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/tobacco/ documents/VDHSFWPPoster_000.pdf.

Outdoor smoking areas. The law does not restrict smoking outside of workplaces or indicate the distance a smoker must be from a building. However, smoking must be done at a sufficient distance so that smoke does not reenter the building through doors, windows, or air intake ducts. Therefore, outdoor smoking areas may have to be moved or outdoor smoking suspended according to wind conditions.

Smoking policy. The Act requires that all Vermont employers adopt, or negotiate through collective bargaining, a smoking policy entirely prohibiting smoking in the workplace or restricting smoking to designated enclosed areas that nonsmoking employees are not required to enter. If the employer has 10 or more employees working over 15 hours, the policy must be in writing. The state suggests that both the policy and a summary of the smoking law be posted conspicuously in the workplace. A model policy is available at http://healthvermont.gov/prevent/tobacco/ documents/Model_Smoke_Policy_000.doc.

Retaliation. Employers may not retaliate against employees who report their noncompliance with the law to ...

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