Virginia Smoking: What you need to know

Virginia regulates smoking in public places and in public and private workplaces used by the general public (VA Code Sec. 15.2-2801). The law also prohibits smoking in public elevators, public restrooms, public schools and school buses, licensed daycare centers, hospital emergency rooms and restrooms, local health departments, polling places, indoor cashier and service lines, and while pumping or delivering gasoline.

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The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) enforces smoking prohibitions.

Exceptions. Tobacco stores, tobacco warehouses, tobacco manufacturing facilities, private clubs, meeting rooms while being used for private functions, private offices or work areas not used by the general public, walkways in malls, and hotel and motel lobbies are not subject to the law's restrictions.

The proprietor or the person who controls the space in healthcare facilities, retail establishments of over 1,500 square feet (including grocery and drug stores and department and clothing stores), and recreational facilities must designate areas where smoking is permitted and post appropriate signs.

Designated smoking areas. Designated smoking areas must be reasonably located and separated as much as possible from rooms used by the public. Existing ventilation systems and physical barriers should be used to minimize smoke drifting into no-smoking areas. Physical modifications or alterations are not required.

Posting. Building owners where smoking is regulated by a local ordinance must post conspicuous smoking and no-smoking signs in public view. In restaurants, signs must be posted at each public entrance.

Restaurants, Bars, and Lounges

Restaurants, bars, and lounges must either prohibit smoking on the premises or maintain ...

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